The power of doing

It’s January and for many this will mark the start of something new – a new fitness regime, learning a new skill, finally mastering mindfulness maybe. And it got me thinking about a couple of things I have learnt recently that have really focused my mind, that have helped me deliver what I set out to achieve so that I can enjoy greater balance in my life.

First up, is the Eisenhower Decision Matrix. This simple decision making model is named after Dwight David Eisenhower – an American army general and statesman who served as the 34th President of the United States from 1953 to 1961. During World War II, he was a five star general in the US Army and served as a Supreme Commander, who prepared the strategy for an Allied invasion of Europe.

Eisenhower continuously had tough decisions to make about which of the many tasks he should focus on each day. This led him to invent the world-famous Eisenhower Matrix, which today helps me to plan and organise my schedule by urgency and importance. There is little value in being a busy fool!

Permission not to be perfect

I also read the global sensation, ‘Lean in’ by Sheryl Sandberg. In her book, Sandberg discusses the importance of getting the job done and not being fixated on it always being perfect (defined as having everything necessary complete and without faults or weaknesses).

Surely, it is better to do your job consistently well and consider the ways to improve what you’re doing rather than doing one job brilliantly and them putting yourself under pressure to deliver the next job and the next job brilliantly too. It’s an approach that fits perfectly with a quote from one of my favourite actors, Denzel Washington: “It’s about progress, not perfection”.


A version of this article first appeared in the first edition of SKQ, our quarterly magazine. If you would like to sign up to receive this via email, please click here.