The great leaders of our time know how to insulate themselves and focus on what matters most. One of them is Jim Collins. Last month’s Economist recounted Collins’s story to success. He rejected desirable careers as an academic and consultant and set out to go back to his hometown Boulder, Colorado and work on the sole question of ‘what makes great companies tick.’ He churned out bestseller books every four years (i.e. Good to Great, Great By Choice, How the Mighty Fall and Why Some Companies Never Give In). He logs how much time he spends on creative work and mundane tasks. He spent his weekends mountain climbing, applying the same rigor to his hobby as his writing.
My ritual each December is to ‘clear the clutter’ in my life so I can stay true my core work and insulate myself in the New Year. Clutter clearing isn’t only about cleaning my closet, it’s about clearing physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
Offline? I’m clearing my closet, my drawers, my wallet, papers on my desk, etc. I’m clearing my old goal sheets and task lists and making way for new ones. I’m clearing my body with a detox (I sure need it after Xmas in the South) with veggies and coconut juice (see this 21 Day Cleanse).
Online? I’m clearing my inbox (see email ninja tricks for tips). I literally spent 2 hours today clearing out all the junk email listserves I was subscribed to. I cleared my Twitter feed and updated my Evernote files.
It feels really refreshing and spacious to clear my clutter. Successful leaders like Collins remind me how important it is to take the time to do this before the New Year.
So I hope each and everyone of you clears your clutter this holiday season! Here’s to a warm New Year!
My challenge for you for 2012: Find out what you want to do and GO DO IT! Being a next generation leader is about DOING the work……that matters to you.