Five Things To Stop Doing – My Take

A recommendation I’ve made on this blog when it comes to finding things to write about from time to time is to write about an article you read somewhere else and give your take on it. In this case it works well for me because the blog in question has a comment system I don’t feel like dealing with and yet I have something to say.

Gonna be on fire in 2012!

The article is written by Dorie Clark on the Harvard Business Review site and it’s titled Five Things You Should Stop Doing in 2012. I loved the article for the most part, and because I think you should check it out I’m not going to repost everything she wrote. But I am going to post the specific topics and address them in my own words. Remember, these are things to stop doing:

  1. Responding Like a Trained Monkey. I’d have to say that this is the hardest thing for me. I trained myself years ago to stop answering the phone if I didn’t know who was calling, even for business calls, and that’s eased my mind a lot. However, I still find that I have certain online habits that I wish I could break, and other habits I need to create to make a healthier me, such as eating better, resting more, and coming to grips with the reality that I don’t have to try to produce something new every few minutes, or respond to chess moves or any of the few other games I play online, just because someone has made a move. Ridiculous thing to be addicted to; I need to go back to counting things. lol
  2. Mindless Traditions. I’ve been cutting back on Christmas and holiday cards over the years because I can connect with so many of my friends online these days. In the past it was a necessary evil because I might only talk to these folks once a year, that being during the Christmas holiday. As it pertains to traditions in general I’ve given some up that impede what I want to do with my life, while sticking to others because, well, I just have to do it. lol But I don’t find myself stressing over any of them, and that’s the major point here. My mother used to get sick at every holiday when I was a kid; her life is so much healthier now that she’s given that kind of thing up.
  3. Reading Annoying Things. In September 2010 I wrote a post talking about de-stressing my life by not commenting on some blogs and also not reading some things that I knew would irritate me and rile me up. Sometimes you just can’t help reading certain things because they draw you in like quicksand, but for the most part, I’ve been able to stop myself from reading things I knew would either depress or anger me. I don’t like to get into arguments just for the sake of it, but I also know I won’t back down and will offer my opinion when I feel strong enough about the topic. But I also know I don’t know how to let go, so it’s best most of the time to not even go there.
  4. Work That’s Not Worth It. Ten years ago I went into business for myself and celebrated my 10th anniversary in June. I’m not gonig to lie and say that everything has been easy. I will say that working for myself has been pretty satisfying in that I don’t have that daily pressure to perform so someone else can reap all the benefits. I don’t have anyone hanging the risk of being unemployed over my head. I don’t have to deal with making sure I get along with all the other people working at my company. I get to work with whoever I want to, turn down things as I see fit, and all the other benefits that are associated with being independent. Of course I also have to scramble for clients here and there but overall, it’s worth it to me because I get to do what I like.
  5. Making Things More Complicated Than They Should Be. Talk about timing being everything. I had just written an article on my business blog yesterday titled Simple Solutions where I talked about how we tend to look at problems as these major things and spend an inordinate amount of time trying to fix things when sometimes simple solutions are sitting right in front of us. This is one of those things I talk about all the time as it pertains to blogging. Sure, if you have a niche blog maybe things are slightly complicated, but look at how I just got an entire blog post from an idea someone else started. How hard was this?

Wow, that was interesting for me; what do you think? How would you respond to each of these? Hey, why not make this kind of a meme; give your answers on your own blog and invite people to check it out. Or just respond here; I’d love to know how you feel about it.

20 thoughts on “Five Things To Stop Doing – My Take”

  1. Here’s mine–
    1. Live in the moment.
    2. Choose to live a healthy lifestyle.
    3. Spend more time with the wife.
    4. …

    You are right. I should write about this on my blog. Thanks for the idea!

    1. Jim, those are actually things you will “start” doing, not “stop” doing; at least I hope so. lol They’re not bad things as far as positivity goes. And it’ll be interesting to see what you end up with on your blog.

  2. To some extends I agree, of course need deeper thinking depending on the circumstances which probably need separate topic for all this points. I just started brainstorming, but I guess to say what I am thinking about this points, I probably will need more than 1000 words. Let me just start with first one, well I have never respond like trained money or not respond at all in the past, but honestly I suppose that everybody that is sending an email or trying to call expect to get response fast, so I guess I don’t quite agree with this point, but again I also don’t respond to all contacts.

    1. Actually Carl, you do agree with the first point if you’ve decided not to jump at a moment’s notice and respond to a query or request. You also don’t respond to everything; that’s just what the original writer said. So you’re one of us. lol

      1. Actually I do respond in time always to everything reasonable, I don’t respond only to generic emails. I am black and white in business and there are two answers – yes and no. Most likely that if my feeling says that something can’t work out today, most likely it wont work well after a week.

  3. This one trigger my veins to be on fire this coming 2012. I try to do some list on how to organize my action this coming 2012.. This post is packed with an awesome way to convince individual. Thanks for sharing this one.

  4. Good stuff, Mitch. There are so many things we can stop doing but the pain point hasn’t been reached, yet. My own personal change was to stop feeling like I HAD to post something on my blog. What’s interesting is how many of the author’s points are covered by that. It wasn’t exactly a mindless tradition of doing unworthy work, as I refused to post just to say I had. However, it was definitely trained monkey behavior that was making my life way more complicated. LOL Thankfully, I had a brainquake, which changed everything.

    You already know where I stand on reading annoying things.



  5. I have also some certain online habits that I wish I could break like always checking emails and opening facebook once in a while if i feel kinda burn out.

  6. Okay Mitch, I’ll bite. So here it goes:

    1. I don’t answer the call if it’s an 800 or no caller ID. I’m not wasting my time either. I don’t think I have any bad habits that I do online or at least none that I’m aware of.
    2. I quit sending Christmas cards about four years ago. Instead, I write a Christmas letter letting everyone know how my year went. Kind of a summary since I don’t want to bore all of those who keep up with me on a regular basis. I email it to everyone I have an email for and mail it to my relatives and friends who are not online fanatcis.
    3. I don’t read things I’m just not interested in. If I read a headline to a post or article and I don’t like it, I move on.
    4. I think I’ve finally broken myself of doing work that’s not worth it. I have a pretty solid schedule that I stick to daily so I don’t even have time for mindless stuff anymore.
    5. I use to be guilty of this but I think I’ve finally come around. I think I have a pretty good handle on not over complicating things now. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it stays that way too.

    So there you have it. That’s it for me.

    Hope you have a fabulous day Mitch and welcome to 2012.

    1. What a wonderful share this was Adrienne. The Christmas letter thing is always one where I’m not sure whether I want to do it or not, what to say so it comes out as positive, and just how much I want to share in a newsletter. I’ll admit that part of me is irked that so many of my friends have email addresses, know I’m really connected, and yet don’t try to reach back to me; makes me feel like I’m the one putting out all the effort, even if they sent a yearly card first; conflicted. lol As to the rest, well, I need to take a firmer hand on #4 and #5 this year, and stay committed to those two principles. Today is my “free” day where I’m really solidifying some things; I hope I can continue as the year goes on.

      I wish you the best for 2012; let’s both get rich! 🙂

  7. Hi Mitch,
    You and I are so similar it’s scary. These things I have been changing about myself the past couple of years, ie Christmas Cards, reading stuff that gets me fired up, wasting time on unproductive online activities and eating better and getting rest. The last one I have to/must in 2012.

    I am going to be serious about applying the 80/20 rule this year instead of the 20/80 rule. It’s all about being smarter in 2012 for me, relatively speaking of course.

  8. Oh geez. No more Christmas cards? That sounds awful to someone like me. I’ve always preferred sending and receiving real Christmas cards rather than digital ones. The real cards, especially with handwritten inscriptions, exude warmth throughout the years. I keep all of the greeting cards I received inside a box, and every time I feel down, I take a look at them and I feel better.

    1. Erich, I used to do that, but the day I pulled out some old cards and couldn’t remember who some of the people were that had sent them, I stopped keeping cards altogether. I just think that the once a year thing, the “obligation” if you will, because you haven’t even thought about another person until the holiday comes, is too much strain on the brain. I’d rather be able to talk to someone on a more consistent basis online in some fashion, and then if I want to send them a card it’s not as an afterthought.

      1. I feel you, Mitch. I’ve experienced the same thing once or twice before, too–and it felt awful not being able to remember who sent those cards. That’s why for the past few years, I’ve started segregating the cards and handwritten letters into two categories: one for the “transients” (i.e., those contacts of mine with whom I have no strong or close personal relationships with) and another for those that I consider to be within my inner circle.

        As for sending a card/note as an afterthought, perhaps it’s one of the practices worth forgetting starting in 2012.

Comments are closed.