Businessman not listening to nonsense
Here’s the one piece of advice you need today.
“The one thing people are most liberal with, is their advice.”
Growing up, I had an aunt who was a close talker. More specifically, she was a close talker who favored Listerine and some strange mixture of yogurt and aged Swiss cheese. She loved to give me advice—in agonizing (and smelly) detail.
The pungent smell of coaching is all around us. It seems that everyone has something to say about being a better person, leader, parent and neighbor during this time of crisis. I understand that they’re trying to help. But all this advice can be absolutely overwhelming.
I belong to two business organizations that share the same thinking about giving advice to other members: Don’t do it. The reasoning is pretty simple. If I tell you what to do and you choose not to follow my advice, I am frustrated with you. If you do take my advice and it turns out to be wrong, you are angry with me. Both situations can drive a wedge in an otherwise valuable relationship.
So, at the risk of being totally Meta, here is some advice about how not to take too much advice.
The One Thing
It probably feels like you now have read, seen or heard coaching on just about everything. You are feeling overwhelmed. You don’t know where to start. Here’s a solution that works for me in good times and bad.
Tonight, before you go to bed, make a list of all the things you need to get done. Prioritize the list based on their impact. Put the most essential and impactful things at the top of the list and the least important at the bottom.
When you wake up tomorrow, do the first thing on the list. If you can get to the second or third, good for you! But either way, getting to that first, essential thing on your list will make you more accomplished than most of the world.
Resist the Urge to Do More
I’ll be honest. I have a lot more to say about this topic, and I desperately want to keep typing. But that would be ironic and cruel.
Just get that one essential thing done each day. Then go find some way to be creative. You’ve accomplished something meaningful today.
This too shall pass.