Limit your work in progress. Get more done.

One point from the book stood out more than the others. I gave a mental high five to the author. This idea was good. It wasn’t good because it was new, novel, or counterintuitive, but because the seedling idea landed in fertile mental soil.

Ready for it?

Limit your work in progress.

Have you heard this before? I know, it probably doesn’t have the same ring for you as it had for me – spoilers are never good. But, the idea is sound. Limit work in progress.

The argument is simple. When we only have 5 things to do there is high likelihood we will do them all. When we have 100 things to do, there is high likelihood that we will surf social media. (Caught you!)

The problem is that the world never limits work in progress. Like the tide, the work regularly flows in whether we have the mental and physical capacity or not.

So, we have to limit it. Intentionally, vigorously. Why? Because limiting our work in progress ensures we actually get more done over time.

Have the 100 item list if you want (I don’t advise it), but limit your day to five things. Try it for a week. I dare you.

by Jonathan Wilson

Jonathan is the Head Coach at Sandcastle Company, a Seattle-based leadership training organization. His first book, Future Leader: Rebooting Leadership to Win the Millennial and Tech Future [link], is now available. Jonathan regularly writes and speaks about The New Leader Way, leadership resilience, and the future of work. He has years of leadership experience in both the public and private sectors, a master's degree from Seattle University, and professional coach training from the University of Miami.

Filed under: Leadership

Published on July 2, 2019

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