I believe what you choose not to do is more important than what you choose to do. I believe successful people choose to do only what they believe will add the most value to others and that the most successful people figure out how to add more value than anyone else on the planet.  So I encourage you to stop doing stuff.

Starting now, before you start any activity, ask yourself this question: “How will this add or create value for my customer?” If the answer is “I don’t know,” then ask a question to clarify the value proposition. If the answer is still not clear, don’t start the activity.  Instead, move on to the next thing that will clearly add value to your customer.  Now, before you start, determine the fastest, most cost-effective way to get the job done based on the proposed value.

As with so many things in life, the easy path is not usually the best path.  This will not be easy, but if I am right, it should be rewarding.  You will be tempted to open and reply to every email or start every task.  For just one week I want you to resist the urge.  First seek to understand the value add, then figure out how to do it better than anyone on the planet.

You will know you are on the right track when you slightly irritate someone because they wanted an immediate response.  Simply ask them to clarify the client value that they believe the task will bring.  If they can’t or if you are already working on a task that generates more client value, then let them know by illustrating the value proposition that you are currently testing.

Try this for a week and see how it feels. I bet you’ll like the results.

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