Your Holiday To Do List. Condensed.

The start of holiday season generally signals a bigger to do list along with new resolutions to make us better, faster, leaner.

I’m heading into the season with a “less is more” frame of mind by whittling away at the old way of thinking. I’m hoping this strategy will yield the same results: a better, faster, leaner, and kinder me. By removing the not-so-important list of things that somehow have added to the routine, I feel a bit lighter and more focused.

To do this, I applied something I read about in a Harvard Business Review blog post by Douglas Conant, founder and CEO of ConantLeadership and former CEO of the Campbell Soup Company. Conant advises creating Yes Filters to help us sort through the barrage of ideas, opportunities, and distractions that dart across our path every day.

The Yes Filters are made up of a set of questions (defined by you) to help you filter matters by their importance and relevance to your vision and values. I’m easily distracted by all kinds of new things and often find myself whiling away the hours a la the Tin Man’s tune from Wizard of Oz. A bit more discipline in this arena was in order.

Here’s a pass at the Yes Filter questions I created.

How will this idea/activity serve me, my family, my values – and does it really matter?

Is it a matter of principle?

Is it something that my instincts tell me I need to address?

The emotional intelligence factor is really big in my book and not to be ignored. Sometimes we really just need to say NO.

Thank you, Mr. Conant, for your wisdom and for the Chicken Noodle Soup. I wish I could be more like you and get out of bed at 4:30 AM to add a few more things to my to do list. Maybe next year.

In the meantime, if you’re feeling the pressure, take a few moments to practice the Relaxing Cobra yoga pose.