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|Friday, January 24, 2014|
BY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER
January needn’t be a time to make well intentioned promises to yourself that you soon break.
(And most do get broken. According to a University of Scranton study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, one-fourth of resolutions only last a week, and over half are broken within 6 months.)
My strong advice is to start by making room in your life for the good habits you want.
I spoke with Marc Lesser, CEO of ZBA Associates LLC. He developed and taught a leadership program at Google called “Search Inside Yourself.” Marc was a resident of the San Francisco Zen Center for 10 years and is the author of Less: Accomplishing More By Doing Less, and Z.B.A. Zen of Business Administration: How Zen Practice Can Transform Your Work and Your Life. (See his Google TechTalk, “How to Accomplish More by Doing Less.”)
Marc says, set a daily goal of three key tasks and do nothing else, until they are done.
He counsels his coaching clients to state explicitly what a good day looks like, and how it would be measured. What does success look like? Is that shared with the other folks in the company?
When you know very clearly where you are going, when you can clearly describe the desired end state, that makes it easier to identify the next steps, and makes it easier to be on task. When the future is vague it can be hard to identify the next step, which makes it easier to hide by surfing the net.
The only effective treatment for true Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) starts with mindfulness and radical acceptance.
So, where does a CEO start?
Marc describes the “Less Manifesto” as being five areas where we can do less and accomplish more:
This reduces the terror of our fears, and empowers us by identifying specific things we can do.
Marc coaches people to ask, “What can I do better?” or “What are two things I can do differently to make our team more effective?” We also have to be open to hearing the answers, and then identifying the next steps we can take with that feedback.
One focusing tool is to think about how short our lives are, and that we will all die. Another is to visualize end states and identifying next steps. Another is to answer e-mail and voice mail only a few times a day.
If you’re ready, now you know how to simplify your life.
You’ll be glad you did. I am.
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