Bite-Size Chunks of Wisdom

December 2010

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Have you heard of the expression “death by a thousand paper cuts”? I’ve just recently heard it. Frankly, I don’t know if its a movie or just a saying. It doesn’t really matter as it makes it’s point – bleeding to death from thousands of supposedly insignificant paper cuts.

That’s how I feel about email. It seems so harmless – so inconsequential – yet it can kill the most productive day in no time.

Each morning as I contemplate my day, I consider tackling more significant, profound projects before opening the gates of hell – email. Yet somewhere in my mind, there’s a sense that I can launch my email program, speedily respond and delete, and be done.

It never quite works that way.

Once the email program rears its ugly head, its never ending. The requests, the ads, the information, and the stories keep coming at me until my once hopeful and productive day dies – death by a thousand emails – and its only 6:35 AM. <Sigh>

If you follow me on Facebook, you know I’ve recently been plagued by the growing amount of paperwork on my desk. This pregnant pile of paperwork has been adding multiple do’s to my already extensive “to do” list. I have to admit, its become a bit overwhelming. When the inbox on my desk begins to break out of the periphery, I find myself sorting and organizing the various pieces into comparable piles in hopes of making it easier to address.

This morning, as I sat sipping my morning coffee contemplating my piles and do’s , I experienced a flash of insight – most of what was creating my bulging paper piles and “to do” list was comprised of to do’s requested by others. What??? How did that happen?

I do recall one of my early coaches telling me I was “a yes waiting to happen”. In my moment of caffeinated clarity, I discovered I had allowed my “to do” list to be hijacked! It was no longer my to do but rather had become a “you do” list.

It probably started like this: “Can you do this? Can you do that?” Plus there were the items I  readily volunteered to do because the yes within eagerly raised its hand. What was even more profound was the discovery that many of the actions were not in alignment with my strategic plan. Yikes! Being pulled off track can happen so quickly.

Even though I feel compelled to provide a list of things for you to do that would reduce your “to do”, I realize I would only be creating a “you do” list. For the time-being I’ll suppress the urge. It will be one less thing for both of us to do.

Core Business Assessment


Brooke Billingsley

Vice President
Perception Strategies

Synnovatia is a strategic coaching firm that is detailed and knowledgeable about business. i have a small business that grew from $150K to $750K because of the goal setting and resources that Synnovatia provided. It saves me years of learning on my own.

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