The Law of Creative Abandonment
– Peter Drucker
Simply put, the Law of Creative Abandonment implies that you spend more of your time on High Value Activities (HVAs) that are directly connected to the major goals in your life. In that sense, you make up your mind to let go of or abandon Low Value Activities (LVAs) that are time consuming and do not yield any results or that do not bring you closer to your goal. You are thus creatively abandoning those tasks that possess little or no value with regards to your goals.
Question: What LVAs are you willing to sacrifice for a HVA that will help you connect more to your goals?
Our LVAs differ from person to person and the truth about it is that we often spend more of our time on tasks that do not have any positive effects on “increasing our return on equity or energy invested.” Think about it for a moment; you come home from work on a Monday like at about 6 0’clock (some people are lucky to be home by 5 or even 4), tired and just in the mood to relax and watch some TV (a channel which may or may not be of high value to you or your goals). You balance in front of the TV from 6pm to about 10pm watching movies and/or series while browsing through your Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and WhatsApp feeds. At 10pm, you slowly drift off to sleep.
On Tuesday, the same happens and this continues all through the week, five days and even the weekends too.
Most of us are guilty of continually engaging in these LVAs which have slowly crept their way up to become habits in our lives. It is almost automatic for us to always be on social media the whole day or respond to seemingly important messages. We have therefore slowly ignored and neglected the relevant HVAs which can help us achieve our goals. Mind you, being on social media the whole day is not particularly bad…if you’re making money out of it or you can see the returns from the hours spent on Instagram (and a steady release of serotonin in the brain which can occur from the feeling you get when you get a good number of likes on a picture, does not qualify as a good return…just putting that out there).
Loads of people say that they would love to read a book that would develop their knowledge base or even take a course that would take them one step closer to their goals. But their major reason why they cannot do this is "There's just no time!". However, if a record of their time spent was released, it would be discovered that less time or none was spent on any personal development whatsoever and more time (for leisure) was spent on LVAs. That is not to say that we do not regularly take time off to rest and relax; the point is to decide to focus more on the HVAs than the LVAs.
Get a pen and paper, ask yourself these questions and write down the answers:
1. What three HVAs can I focus on generally that will help achieve your goals faster?
2. What LVAs constantly occupy my time without any positive effects on increasing your return on equity or energy invested?
3. What is one major thing I need to work on to be more committed to performing more HVAs?
At the end of the day, if we want better results at the things we do and we want to actually achieve those goals that we have set out in an effective and efficient way, but we cannot have do that if we continue to waste valuable time on LVAs. And just in case you thought time would be polite to wait for you, remember that the fourth month of 2018 is almost over!
Decide today to spend more time on the HVAs that you have identified above and it helps if you have an accountability partner, mentor or like-minded friend who can encourage you to stay focused on those activities. You can also plan on doing at least one HVA per day and creatively abandon those LVAs.
Have a great Saturday!