Less is More.  Get Working on the “NOT TO DO LIST”


stop the madness!  Let’s stop saying do more with less and start doing less.


One of my healthcare group coaching teams is not only short staffed, but also overwhelmed with demands for their services due to COVID and the demand for flu and COVID vaccines.  Everyone is stressed, exhausted and have not had luck finding more help.  When I asked the simple question of “What are you going to STOP doing?”the group fell silent and looked at me as though I had sinned by asking such a question.  



We are trained to do more with less.  It is a badge of honor to be overworked, able to pull a miracle, and have high productivity and engagement at all times.  This does not work anymore; not with everything that the world is going through It is time to do less not more because at a certain point, this will become a safety issue for staff and patients.


These are crazy times, and it is time to admit that we are not ok. It is ok to say I am not ok.  It is ok to empathize with each other during these challenging times.  It is time to accept that we are not going back to normal any time soon and to start dealing with the new normal.  That is why it is time to create a NOT TO DO LIST since our  TO DO LIST keeps getting longer. 


So how can we do that?  It starts with us as leaders.  It can be done by empowering our teams by getting things off their plates, and not adding more.  I challenge every leader to host a NOT TO DO meeting and remove one thing from each team member’s list. One project, one responsibility, or one deadline.  


How do you determine your NOT TO DO LIST? 


Identify what matters the MOST to you, your team and your family.  These days it is about safety and wellbeing, the base level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. These items have to stay on the TO DO LIST.





Determine which items on your list are so strategic and timesensitive that not doing them would have major negative implications for the future.  For example, not administering vaccines would have a significant negative impact on the community.  These items have to stay on the TO DO LIST. 




Decide on what can be delayed or discontinued in order to preserve the time needed to focus on higher priorities and bigger impact projects (e.g. surveys or process improvement projects that are nice to have, but not essential right now given other priorities).  These items go on the NOT TO DO LIST. 




We need to be convinced, and keep reminding ourselves and our teams, that it is not a failure to not do something.  Reserving our resources and focus is a strength, and these two assets matter the most right now.  It is ok to allow the team to breathe and recover: “People are successful because they say ‘no,’ because they say, ‘this isn’t for me.’” – Peter Drucker, 2005



For more information about developing a line or sight for you or your team, please contact us at ctileadership@ctileadership.com.