Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.
— Lin Yutang
“Ha! Yeah, that’d be nice,” said all the principals in the world in unison.
In our line of work, there’s not much hope of fully eliminating the “non-essentials.” Everything needs to be dealt with by someone, and often that someone is us.
But Lin Yutang helps us remember that deciding what not to work on is as important as the decision to work on something else. They’re two sides of the same coin.
But here’s another angle:
Deciding how we work on something also determines what we can get done and what we must leave undone.
Technology can be a game-changer if we’re smart about using tools that let us spend our scarce time on what most deserves it.
Doing our work with integrity doesn’t mean doing it slowly or the way it’s always been done. It means doing the right work, and doing it well.