I love to-do lists. They allow my dreams to take over reality and in a borderline masochistic matter to shatter before my very eyes every evening around 6 p.m. At least To-Do lists are predictably unrealistic. How about a To-Ignore List? Write down 5-10 things you will be sure to avoid this week. Work hard to ignore the tasks because they are on your ignore list and this time you want to feel like you’ve accomplished something.
If you’re really feeling daring, consider a To-Ignore List at Work and a Personal To-Ignore List. I’ll leave the latter to you (for me, I would ignore: “Make that dentist appointment,” “Take the clothes out of the dryer” and “Cook.”). If you are in the communications trade, here are some ideas for creating your To-Ignore List this week:
Promise to ignore (or at best “decline participation in”) the following:
1. The second voice message from the person who already left you a voice mail message and sent you an email about an important press release and needs you to call her back asap
2. The meeting that was set up to talk about future meetings and upcoming schedules
3. The call from the vendor who promises his “solution” is the best in the industry and we have to talk, how about Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET?
4. The discussion about ad value equivalencies in public relations – because they don’t really exist anymore in PR
5. The colleague down the hall whose phone voice carries 20 feet and whose non-stop social butterfly voice grates at your very being perhaps because she’s not working and you are?
7. The growing consensus to label something “a crisis” when it’s really just a situation that can be solved with a phone call
8. The invitation to speak at a conference on a topic you’re not comfortable speaking about but you really like the destination and venue
9. The client or manager who demands a 20% increase in “Likes” on Facebook, a 50% increase in your brand’s share of voice and some positive coverage with the major news outlets – by Friday.
To ignore is to get real things done sometimes. Let me know what’s on your To-Ignore List and if it works.
– Diane Schwartz
Join me on Twitter: @dianeschwartz