What will you stop doing?

There is a great new posting in the Bloomberg business management blog from Michael Maddock and Raphael Louis Viton. They echo the “first things first” principle from Steven Covey and encourage us all to create a “stop doing list”. I love this quote: “You don't want your big brains jumping from little challenge to little challenge. You want them laser-focused on the biggest challenges, the biggest opportunities, the most important company issues.”

Right on. They suggest we ask team members to “provide the name of an activity your company should halt because it saps energy and produces little real or perceived benefit.”

Great idea! I am going to start today. I hereby resolve to STOP looking at TweetDeck during work. Sorry TweetDeck. You are a victim of your own success. Frankly, it should be called “Twitter Media Interface” or TMI because it generates way too much information.  There are multiple rivers of conversation going on, and it is interesting, humorous, occasionally it is useful. But am I alone in feeling that all those tweet interrupts have a cumulative debilitating effect over the course of a day?

Maybe Nick Carr is right about too much unmediated information.  


I already have “hotline” links to key people that I live and work with – with my wife and daughter it is SMS – short but relevant text messages. The hot link at work is IM – the proverbial “ut?” flags an important request that is willing to wait for you to reply and doesn’t want to burn a phone call. I welcome the LinkedIN network updates, and am parentally obliged to scan my kid’s facebook page from time to time. When it comes to email I survive only thanks to rules. Incoming mail finds itself pre-sorted based on urgency, whether or not I am the sole recipient, and segmented folders for known senders. With several hundred emails a day, how else can I survive? And for the industry journalists and analysts I follow, I have Google Reader and my various RSS feeds into a syndicated list of blogs and news I want to follow. And I am really happy that the Pega community now has a broader support for forums and groups and networking on the new website. That’s lots I think.

So I am stopping TweetDeck. I look forward to reclaiming hundreds of 4 second distractions. I suspect that the social media enthusiasts, will think poorly of me, but as Maddock and Viton point out in their blog, if it “saps energy” it is a distraction from the attention and focus my team members need from me. Anyone else feel the same way?