Are you chasing chipmunks these days? What, you may wonder, is a chipmunk?
In the 1980’s, during the early days of his first administration, Ronald Reagan told his staff, “My job as President is not to chase chipmunks.” He went on to explain that the chipmunk is one of the most prevalent critters in the animal kingdom. Because they are so small and prevalent, lions don’t bother to hunt them because chipmunks aren’t worth the energy it takes to chase them.
In defining what he considered a chipmunk, Reagan said he had three main objectives in his presidency: 1) Restore patriotism in the American people; 2) Bring down the Soviet Union and end communism; and 3) Stimulate the economy with tax cuts. He then declared to his staff: “Anything not related to these three objectives is a chipmunk.”
So, are chipmunks invading your day? They disguise themselves in many ways, such as that 180-day-old $164 invoice that you’ve spent $1,164 chasing because of a change order dispute, or that negative-talking associate who drags you down every morning. Chipmunks. It could be that teenage son or daughter who thinks they have to have that tank of gas right now or the world will come to an end. Chipmunk.
What do we do about those little critters who take up our time and energy? The best solution is to delegate those that can be delegated. Let your accounts receivable person handle the invoice. Avoid or cut short the people who want to pollute your environment. Let teenagers run out of gas … they’ll either figure out a way to solve the problem or they’ll run low on gas!
Give it a try. Write down three main goals for moving your business forward and then start telling everyone around you that “you’re not chasing chipmunks any more.” You’ll have fun telling the story and your days just might become more productive.