What do you choose to be bad at?

8th September, 2021

What do you choose to be bad at?

If you live with me and share my surname, you’ll get a thoughtful gift and a card on your birthday.

 

Also a cake, some terrible singing and a lot of fuss.

 

Everyone else? Don’t hold your breath.

 

If you come around to my house for dinner you’ll get a delicious meal. Great wine. A belly-busting pudding.

 

But it’s unlikely to have been cooked from scratch by me.

 

And I’m ok with that.

 

Because I’ve come to understand that whilst you can do (almost) anything, you can’t do everything.

 

And now a Harvard professor, Dr Frances Frei, gives this approach the ultimate stamp of approval.

 

She says we have to choose what to be bad at.

 

To accomplish the important things, she says, we have to let stuff slide. We have to ruthlessly prioritise and make our peace with it.

 

I’ve taken this to the extremes in the past.

 

In March 2020, during the first lockdown I was finishing my book, homeschooling and working on a huge client project. So I chose to be bad at pretty much everything, including, but not limited to: hoovering, dusting, filing, eating vegetables and making conversation with my husband.

 

It wasn’t pretty, but it worked. The critical things (my kids, clients and book) got the attention they needed. (Yes, I have a very understanding husband.)

 

And I constantly make these trade-offs still when it comes to self-promotion, because I know I can’t do everything well.

 

I choose to be bad at Facebook so I can be better at LinkedIn (where most of my clients are).

 

I’m ok with not hanging with the Clubhouse bros so I can get this email out to you each week.

 

So let me ask you this: what are you going to choose to be bad at so you can be more visible?

accenture
UBS
Ricoh
Euromoney
University of Cambridge

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