You are a successful person. You are you successful leader. You are a successful professional. You get things done. You make things happen. You constantly prioritize and work your To-Do List.
Consider this. Many of the most successful people, regardless of industry or profession, put as much, if not more emphasis on their Not-To-Do List as they do on their To-Do List. Here is just one example.
The pastor of the church I attend has led his church from a weekly attendance of 150 people to over 20,000 people every weekend. He also leads a very successful world-wide ministry. This pastor has publicly stated on many occasions that his Not-To-Do List is every bit as important, if not more important, than his To-Do List. You might say that he is extreme in his extremely selective criteria for making it on his To-Do List.
Like other highly successful people who place high priority and importance on moving nearly everything to their Not-To-Do List, this pastor has taken plenty of criticism over the years for what he does not do. Particularly in the early years of the very successful organization he leads, the pastor was openly criticized, even ridiculed for not doing a lot of things many people expected from a small church pastor. Now he is invited to speak and hold conferences for pastors and church leaders all over the world. Invitations and demand far exceed his availability!
This highly successful leader chooses Not-To-Do at least 9 out of every 10 opportunities and expectations that came his way. He consistently says “no” over and over again, so that he will have time, energy and focus to say “yes” to a very few crucially important opportunities and expectations.
This leader’s To-Do List is short and crystal clear. His Not-To-Do List is huge and growing longer every day.
Think about it. Think about the huge 10, 20 or 30 year cumulative impact of diplomatically, even lovingly saying no, no, no at least 9 times for every yes!
There is a critically important personal and professional success lesson here.
There need be nothing negative about saying no. There need be nothing abrasive or disrespectful about saying no. There is nothing wrong with respectfully saying “no thank you.” In fact, for those who seek and expect great personal and professional success, respectfully saying “no” is the right and best answer in almost all cases.
Say “no” to almost all opportunities and expectations so that you can say “yes” to the very few critically important opportunities and expectations that will achieve or exceed your well-defined personal and professional mission!
Say “no, no, no, no, no”… so that you can enthusiastically and most effectively say “yes”… and then deliver excellence in what you choose To Do.