27: ‘Dread locks’

Take a look at this week’s calendar. How does it make you feel? Do you feel motivated by the momentum you’ll create, or do you feel locked down by dread?

Dread locks you out of your genius–your ability to do your best work. It moves you from “How can I make today amazing?” to “How can I get through today?” I call the latter state ‘dread locks’. When you have it, for each task in the week, ask yourself:

  1. What’s the goal? Every action needs a goal or you’ve no way of knowing if it was successful or not. That can create dread. Assign one or delete the task.
  2. Does the goal need to be achieved? If not, delete the task. Why do things that don’t matter? The feeling of wasted time can create dread.
  3. Does it need to be achieved by you? If not, find who it belongs to and give it to them. Doing the wrong work can create dread.
  4. Does it afford you enough time and resources? If not, get them, and commit to ensuring they exist for this type of task in future. Trying to do things with a hand tied behind your back can create dread.
  5. Do you know how to succeed with this goal? If not, get the training and clarity you need, or revisit #3. Not knowing what success looks like can create dread.
  6. Now how does the week look? If there’s still dread, return to #1 and repeat.

Life’s too short to do work that doesn’t matter, and your team deserves better than you showing up with ‘dread locks’. How would your week feel without them? How would your work benefit?

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