The Cluttered Table

“There is never enough time to do everything. And often, your “grade,” whether you work in the executive suite or in a daily support position, depends as much on what you decide not to do as what you do.” — Cut to the Chase: and 99 Other Rules to Liberate Yourself and Gain Back the Gift of Time by Stuart R. Levine


When you are young, a common question is, “What are you going to do when you grow up?”

Then when young adulthood arrives the questions change a little: “Where are going to go to college?” “Who are you going to marry?” “Where are you going to work and live?”

And then you settle into life and the question of the day becomes: “What am I going to do today?”

These are important questions that need an answer.

But before you are ready to give your best answer there are far more important questions that should be answered…

…they are the “No” questions.

  • “What will you not do when you grow up?”
  • “Where you will not go to college, who will you not be in a relationship with, what will you not do in that relationship, what kind of work will you not do, where will you not live, what will you not say and do today?”

If you fail to answer those questions upfront you will always be subject to the best salesman, the strongest personality, and the most urgent crisis of the day.

Bottom line, you have a limited number days and you have a limited capacity. No matter what your fairy godmother told you, you can’t do and be anything you want to be—not in the real world.

The ONE THING for today: The sooner you take almost everything off the table, the sooner you will have space to really get something done with your day and the rest of your life.

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