The painful, but necessary step for getting the right things done in 2018

It's exciting to launch new things, to expand your campaign to the next state over, kick off that project you've been waiting years to do.

But one of the hardest lessons to learn as a leader is that you can't do everything at once, writes Brian Halligan, co-founder and CEO of HubSpot, in a recent article for the Harvard Business Review. If you give a green light to every initiative, you won't be able to give anything the time or energy it deserves.

Halligan shares that he, too, suffered from "no"-phobia—until a board member pointed out that he had "half-baked projects all over the place."

To help other leaders in the same situation, Halligan shares the steps he took to find more balance. The cornerstone of his strategy is a one-page "MSPOT" document, on which he forces himself to list:

  • The team's Mission;
  • Who we Serve;
  • The Projects we will take on this year;
  • The projects we will Omit this year; and
  • How we plan to Track our progress.

The document makes a genius move: it forces you to identify the things you won't do this year. That Omissions section is the most "painful" one to fill out, Halligan writes. The ideas that land there often have potential. You might even end up following through on them in the future. But strategically avoiding them now frees you up to invest more time and effort into your higher priorities (Halligan, Harvard Business Review, 1/26).

Also see: We tried 5 productivity hacks so you don’t have to

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