The Art Of Letting Go


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How to let go of (and say no to) things that are not important so you can focus on your priorities.

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The Art Of Letting Go

  1. 1. The Art of Letting Go a tool for time management and work/life balance BJ Wishinsky “ We say we waste time, but that is impossible. We waste ourselves.” – Alice Block
  2. 2. Today’s Objectives <ul><li>Gain clarity on benefits of and motivation for letting go. </li></ul><ul><li>Prioritize goals (e.g., tasks, projects) based on urgency and importance. </li></ul><ul><li>Identify goals to abandon in order to make time for those that are more important. </li></ul><ul><li>Build a personalized toolkit of ways to say No using organizationally savvy catch phrases. </li></ul><ul><li>Create an action plan for letting go of your chosen &quot;abandoned goals&quot;. </li></ul>Why What How
  3. 3. Check-in: Goal-setting <ul><li>Write down 1-2 important things that you need to do to achieve your goals. </li></ul><ul><li>Write down 1-2 things that you want to abandon, to free up time to achieve your goals. </li></ul>“ Frenetic activity is not the same as productive action. Busy ≠ Productive. Urgent ≠ Important ” – BJ Wishinsky Why What How
  4. 4. Where Will You Find The Time? <ul><li>“ Non omnia possumus omnes” </li></ul><ul><li>– Virgil (70 BC – 19 BC) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ You will never find time for anything. If you want time you must make it.&quot; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>– Charles Buxton </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Organized Abandonment (Peter Drucker) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Letting go with intention (BJ Wishinsky) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>Why What How
  5. 5. <ul><li>“ Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least.” </li></ul><ul><li>– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ At the end of the day, in order to feel good about what you didn't get done , you must have made some conscious decisions about your responsibilities, goals, and values.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>– David Allen </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone.” </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>– Lin Yutang </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>It Begins With Priorities Why What How Note: Reality-check your work priorities with your boss!
  6. 6. Exercise: Urgent ≠ Important Why What How Importance Urgency Urgent and Important Important and not urgent Urgent and not Important Not urgent and Not important
  7. 7. The power to say No Why What How “ The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any.” – Alice Walker No! Yes!
  8. 8. A Four-Step Formula for Saying &quot;No!“ from Colette Carlson <ul><li>Before you say “Yes” … </li></ul><ul><li>Stop : Instead of rushing to make a decision, simply stop and take a deep breath. </li></ul><ul><li>Look : Take a long, hard look at your current commitments and calendar. </li></ul><ul><li>Listen : Listen to and acknowledge your feelings. </li></ul><ul><li>Go : Go on with integrity. </li></ul>Why What How
  9. 9. <ul><li>Prioritize : “I am sorry I can’t help with that. I have so many other commitments, I can’t add anything more to my plate.” </li></ul><ul><li>Delegate : “I am sorry I won’t be able to help you. Have you asked Ms. X or Mr. Y? They might be able to help.” </li></ul><ul><li>Simplify : “I can’t commit to everything you are asking for, but if there is something simple I can do, let me know.” </li></ul><ul><li>Set Time Limits : “I am tight on time these days so I could only spend a few minutes on your project.” </li></ul><ul><li>Procrastinate : “I really can’t commit to that now. Maybe some other time.” </li></ul><ul><li>Eliminate : “I am sorry. I don’t have the time to do that kind of activity anymore.” </li></ul>Six Easy Ways to Say “No” from Beth Sawi, ‘Coming Up for Air’ Why What How
  10. 10. What Else Can You Let Go? <ul><li>Battles that can’t be won </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>– Bill Cosby </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Things that no one will notice or miss </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.&quot; </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>– Peter Drucker </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Processes that can be simplified </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Everything should be as simple as possible, but no simpler.” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>– Albert Einstein </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Things that don’t work </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Always make new mistakes.” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>– Esther Dyson </li></ul></ul></ul>Why What How
  11. 11. Exercise: Action plan <ul><li>Go back to your Urgent vs Important chart. Is there anything you want to add or change? </li></ul><ul><li>For each “abandoned goal”, write down at least one action you will take towards letting it go. </li></ul><ul><li>Optional: Form a “letting go” partnership. Share your action plans and set intervals to check back with each other. </li></ul>“ If you do what you always did, you get what you always got.” – Sue Knight Why What How
  12. 12. Summary <ul><li>You won’t find time. You must make time. </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on your priorities. </li></ul><ul><li>Practice letting go with intention. </li></ul><ul><li>Stop, look and listen before you go. </li></ul><ul><li>Say “No” when needed, so you can say “Yes” to what matters. </li></ul><ul><li>Support each other! </li></ul><ul><li>And remember: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Urgent ≠ Important </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Busy ≠ Productive </li></ul></ul>Why What How
  13. 13. References <ul><li>Beth Sawi, Coming Up for Air: How to Build A Balanced Life in A Workaholic World </li></ul><ul><li>Colette Carlson, ‘A Four-Step Formula for Saying “No!”’ </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>David Allen, Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http:// / </li></ul></ul><ul><li>http:// / </li></ul><ul><li>http:// </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>Why What How
  14. 14. So tell me, what is it you intend to do with your one precious life? – Mary Oliver