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Am I a genius? Or just lazy?

Uncategorized Mar 15, 2021

Relying on a process can help us achieve our goals faster, reduce errors, foster engagement, and free up time for creative work. Is it worth it? 

 

“Back in the day” my training partner, Michelle, and I would spend most of our weekdays together. We were freeway fliers- dashing from one workplace to the next, teaching leadership, trust-building, communication, and conflict resolution. 

Michelle always looked great! She has a great eye, and her attention to colors, styles, and details was (and is) impressive! It amazed me how she could always look so “together,” and she almost never wore the same outfit twice.  

I, on the other hand, would cycle through the same 3 outfits, trying desperately to avoid ironing and calculating how long it had been since any given client had seen me in each outfit (as if anyone would even notice!). 

I was bemoaning my lack of style one day on our trip home, and Michelle, with her infinite ability to find the good in any situation said, “you’re like Einstein. He wore the same thing every day because he didn’t want to waste precious brainpower on deciding what to wear. You have more important things to think about.” 

Wow! What a re-frame! (And thank you, Michelle, for giving me an excuse to wear jeans and T-shirts every day for the rest of my life!!)

 

Einstein, Steve Jobs, Barack Obama, and others understood a simple truth. We only have so much decision-making energy each day, so why spend it on something like deciding what to wear when that energy could be better spent in pursuit of BIG IDEAS? 

Fashion aside (because I know many people enjoy the art of dressing, and I admire that greatly), the real question is: what could you be automating to make room for the more important 'thinking work' that the world needs from you? 

  • What if you didn’t have to wonder, “how will I engage my team?” Or, “How will we achieve our goals in a timely manner?”
  • What if you didn’t have to spend energy fixing errors associated with routine tasks, or wondering how to approach a difficult conversation? 
  • What if you relied more on proven processes instead of reinventing the wheel over and over again? 

When we have “right-size” and workable processes that support us being our best, we can expend our energy on more important things like making good decisions, solving complex problems, and fostering healthy relationships. 

 

Here are just a few of my favorite processes…

  1. A morning routine 
  2. Weekly team “bookend” meetings (Monday and Friday)
  3. Quarterly planning and quarterly coaching
  4. A powerful meeting agenda

When I lean on these proven processes, they WORK. They make everything else run more smoothly. 

  • My team has more clarity when I stick to the weekly bookend meetings. 
  • My team achieves more when we plan and track our goals on a quarterly basis. 
  • My meetings are more productive, connected, and fun when I use an agenda to help me achieve my outcome. 

 

When I fail to do these things, I flail. (Fun rhyme! If fail, then flail.)

 

How about you? Do you have certain routines and processes that support your success? 

OR, do you loathe routine and process? (Many people do since they value variety and novelty more heavily.) I can understand that too! If that’s you, tell me more! What is it that turns you off about using processes and routines?  

 

I can't wait to learn from your genius!

 

*Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

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