Selective Neglect Relieves Stress Improves Effectiveness

Selective neglect relieves stress improves effectiveness. Selective neglect is choosing what to neglect today based on priorities. It’s more than neglecting something. It’s managing the neglected activity so we don’t disappoint others. We alert them early so they can reschedule their activities.

Time is fixed. Time is valuable. Time flies. Daily, are you rushing about, stressed, doing too much, feeling unappreciated, and frustrated? Would you like to slow down to enjoy each moment, but work piles up continually, and you keep falling behind? Look around; notice, most people are like you, busy. Why is everyone in such a hurry?

Selective Neglect Relieves Stress Improves Effectiveness - slow Down
Selective Neglect Relieves Stress Improves Effectiveness – slow Down

You and they are suffering from hurry-sickness: trapped on a treadmill, trying to do everything others ask of you, and accomplishing little. Probably, you are doing only small portions of each task well.

Selective Neglect Relieves Stress Improves Effectiveness

There is good news. Several techniques exist to help. However, there is one, Selective Neglect, which is most profound.

Selective Neglect is proactively deciding daily which projects to defer based on identified priorities, and whom to neglect, to do specific goals in a stated time.

If you grasp it, and start using it, you will be able to handle each day’s events, stress free. We see an excellent example of this technique in Exodus 18. In the process of doing good for God, Moses worked tirelessly day-and-night settling disputes among the Israelites. He might be burning out and robbing others from sharing in God’s work. Still, he was content to keep going. Exodus 18:14-18 tells us his father-in-law showed him he needed to do less, to start neglecting some of this task, because it was impossible to do it alone.

When his father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he said, “What is this you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge, while all these people stand around you from morning till evening?” Moses answered him, “Because the people come to me to seek God’s will. Whenever they have a dispute, it is brought to me, and I decide between the parties and inform them of God’s decrees and instructions.” Moses’ father-in-law replied, “What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone.

Selective Neglect Three Premises

  1. Available time is fixed, but available work is not.
  2. Daily, we cannot do everything we and others want done.
  3. Unintentionally, we neglect certain tasks, which disappoint some folks. As well, we miss, or are late for meetings or events, which disappoint people, too. This happens because we do not plan daily activities.

Selective Neglect Three Advantages

  1. You might avoid disappointing someone close to you, merely by being proactive.
  2. You might give someone you will disappoint the opportunity to rearrange her schedule.
  3. You will reduce your stress level considerably

With regular practice, Selective Neglect will become ingrained. You will be convinced that daily, spending five minutes in the morning, five minutes at noon, and five minutes in the evening to review priorities and activities will allow you to do more in available time, and with less stress. Read more in Managing God’s Time.

For additional advice about improving personal effectiveness, and Christian financial advice about God and money, debt free living tips, debt solutions, and more on Michel A Bell, visit: Managing God’s Money.

Copyright © 2011, Michel A. Bell

Michel A. Bell

Michel A. Bell is a former senior business executive, author of six books (including Business Simplified released in 2018), speaker, and adjunct professor of business administration at Briercrest College and Seminary. Michel is a Fellow of the Chartered Certified Accountants (UK), holds a Masters of Science in management degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Doctor of Business Administration honoris causa from Briercrest College and Seminary. He is founder and president of Managing God's Money.

2 thoughts to “Selective Neglect Relieves Stress Improves Effectiveness”

  1. Hey there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my facebook group? There’s a lot of folks that I think would really enjoy your content. Please let me know. Many thanks

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