10 Things that are Killing Your Dreams


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Do you ever wonder where the day went? Do you ever look back at a month and struggle to think of anything substantial you accomplished?
What ever happened to that big idea you had?

Whatever happened to your dreams? Are you doing what’s important, or are you just doing?

Here are ten things that might be killing your day, your month…maybe even your dreams.


Meetings are a necessary evil…or are they? How many meetings can you eliminate every week? How many are absolutely necessary? What could you be doing if you weren’t in a meeting? Is a meeting a valuable and productive type of work? Or is it just another interruption?

Project Plans

Talk to most project managers, especially the PMPs of the world (no offense), and they’ll tell you all about the project plan. They update the plan and they report on the plan (in another meeting) and they make pretty gantt and waterfall charts with the plan. Is a project plan important? Sure it is, but only to know who is going to do what by when. Seth Godin said there’s a big difference between running and managing a project. Please run.


Back in 2004, I was assigned a documentation project for a client. It involved documenting business processes as they related to their software system. It was a fabulous document. It had screenshots and how-to’s and departmental considerations. It was hundreds of (digital) pages long and it was expensive. And nobody ever used it. Just like they never used the documentation that came with their iPod or camera or mobile phone. Just like they never used the instructions that came with their lawnmower or grill or printer. Documentation is that set of binders and books in your office that you never look at. Don’t let the lack of it stop you from shipping.


Emails are micro-meetings. They’re another interruption that kills your productivity. Some emails are important. Some emails are urgent. Few are both.


Twitter is awesome. I love Twitter. I love checking my lists and seeing my replies. I love joining in on conversations about topics I’m passionate about. I love the relationships I’ve been able to forge because of it. But none of that makes Twitter a path to my dreams. Twitter is a firehose of interruptions. It’s a constant stream of gobbly-gook that I constantly have to filter. Constantly. Don’t worry, I still love you Twitter, but I may need a bigger filter.

RSS Feeds

I’ve mentioned my RSS habits before. I fully understand how distracting a page full of unread articles can be. Google Reader tempts me with its unread count on a daily basis. My advice is to use that Mark All As Read button more often. It’s kinda scary, but you feel good after you do it.

Market Research

I once asked an employee what he had worked on the previous week. His answer was, “Market research.” I no longer have to ask that employee any questions…if you get my drift.


It’s Facebook, need I say more? Oh, I do? Ok…Farmville.


Nobody ever got knocked for sharpening the saw. A well-organized conference can be a valuable networking and learning experience, but they should be attended in moderation. Hopping on a plane and spending thousands of dollars (whether it’s yours or the company’s is beside the point) to attend a conference every month is ridiculous, especially since most of the good stuff is published online now.


This kind of goes with the topic above. A certification can be very worthwhile and beneficial to your career, but don’t get carried away. You don’t need to be a CPA to understand financial statements, you don’t need a PMP to manage a project, and you don’t need to be a Six Sigma black belt to help someone successfully manage a business. All of those might help you at some point in your career, but what else could you be doing with all of those hours?

This post is as much for me (maybe more) as it is for you.

Below is one video that inspired this post and deserves watching.

Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vimeo.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Tim Sanchez
ABIS Consulting Group
Tim Sanchez is dedicated to promoting remarkable customer experiences through leadership and personal development.


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