Planned Neglect

May 21, 2024

With the new year rolling just around the corner, I have already started thinking about life next year. As part of this process, I review everything I have done this year to determine the value I received from it. This includes not just events, but also groups and associations I am part of, ongoing commitments, and anything else that happens consistently and requires investment of significant time or energy. Anything not of high value, or aligning with next years vision, gets cut. Deciding what to keep can be a struggle.

On a recent Growth Call I host, we covered a topic called “Planned Neglect“. During it, I shared a story John Maxwell told me of a young violinist, explaining the secret to her success:

“When I was in school, there were many things that demanded my time. When I went to my room after breakfast, I made my bed, straightened the room, dusted the floor, and did whatever else came to my attention. Then I hurried to my violin practice. I found I wasn’t progressing as I thought I should, so I reversed things. Until my practice period was completed, I deliberately neglected everything else. That program of planned neglect, I believe, accounts for my success.”

This young woman learned how to step back and evaluate all the activities she had going in her life. Through reflection, she determined what aligned with her dream and identified the most important activity to move herself toward her dream. She made that activity the priority each day and became a successful violin player.

I would like to encourage you all to spend some time reflecting on this year on all the things you committed to. Place everything in order of its priority and plan to neglect the things that do not push you forward in the coming year.

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