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Stop Doing That

David Bowman
David Bowman
BY: David Bowman ON September 6, 2011

stop doing list

Do You Have A To-Do List?  

It’s not uncommon for working professionals to try to stay organized and focused by keeping lengthy to-do lists.  Businesses frequently develop similar lists in the form of organizational goals and objectives.  While goals, objectives, and to-do lists are extremely important business tools, there is a less frequently used tool that can also be helpful – The Stop Doing List.


The Stop Doing List

Author and professor Michael Porter wisely stated, “The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.”  You can’t be the cheapest, fastest, biggest, most customer focused, widest selection, image oriented, organic, high quality, global, local, innovator in the industry all at once.  You have to choose.  Failing to do so will cause your brand to lose meaning and lack the ability to compete on any of the aforementioned attributes.  Every action of your business should reinforce your chosen direction, moving you closer to realizing your vision.

As you put together goals, objectives, and to-do lists, take time to also identify any actions that are not aligned with your vision, put them on a list, and simply stop doing them.  Doing so will eliminate unnecessary, unproductive actions, create space for getting the most important things accomplished, free up resources,and ultimately give your brand clarity, meaning, and a fighting chance of winning in the marketplace.


Start Stopping

Take 20 minutes and make your stop doing list.   List any activities, policies, actions, routines, or habits that are no longer aligned with your business goals and objectives.  Prioritize these items just as you would for your to do list.  Then, get to work on stopping doing things.  You’ll be amazed what you can accomplish by starting to stop.

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