A colleague shared words of wisdom that he learned from one of his mentors: “20% of the things on your list are never going to get done. You need to be sure that you pick the right 20%.”

It’s a freeing concept – releasing you from the guilt about doing everything. Instead of being in a frenzy to try and accomplish it all, transfer that energy to decision-making and ensuring that you are working on the most important things.

Look at your to-do list through this lens: What will really make a difference? And what is the 20% that you should intentionally let go?


I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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