Selective Neglect… Sometimes a wise choice

Perfection is not easily achieved, and if we tried to make all things perfect all the time, we’d probably drive ourselves crazy.  I’d like to introduce a
concept that might surprise you but which should make some sense after you read what I have to say.

I like to teach small business owners (SBOs) the art of ‘selective neglect’ to make sure they get the most important/valuable things done without unnecessary distraction by those things that have less/no value and which may have developed along the way. I use the term ‘selective neglect’ to describe ‘living with imperfection’ and I preach it all the time.  It’s more than just reestablishing priorities or ‘picking your battles’. It’s almost a way of life for many overachievers within the SBO community if they are going to maintain their highly productive and ‘driven’ work habits.

Now mind you, I’m not advocating negligent or shoddy work habits. What this is about is the fact that most SBOs habitually take on more than they can reasonably handle – whether by wise conscious choice or subconscious compulsiveness. It’s just in their nature and that can be a
good thing. Likewise, I am not advocating for the almost disorder-like folks who can’t stay focused on any one thing for very long and have an insatiable appetite for ‘too many things at one time’.

Productive SBOs have to revisit their ‘backlog of duties’ and determine which opportunities could/should be delegated
or simply ‘canned’ in order to create a healthy balance between what is retained and what is ‘canned’ or delegated. There is nothing wrong with
replacing one good idea (or a terrible idea) with a better idea so long as it’s not a constant dynamic that looks like a never ending game of ‘musical chairs’.

Selective neglect enables the SBO to make a choice and remove the distraction of ‘unfinished business’ that can linger in the back of their head and be a distraction or source of unnecessary stress.

If this notion of selective neglect seems a bit ‘out there’, you may want to learn more about it in my new book, Set Yourself Free – How to Have A Thriving Small Business… And Enjoy It! because you don’t have to have that ‘nagging feeling’ in the back of your head that does nothing good for you.

I hope you will take a moment to read more about it. Feel free to call me at 518.369.7101 or email me at:

P.S. If you’ve been faithfully following these blogs, you might have noticed that I ‘selectively neglected’ doing blogs for the last two issues.

My conciously-decided reason is a ton of other work that had higher priorities — including visiting my new grandson (first grandchild) – thanks to my son and his wife!  🙂


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