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"E" is for Pruning!

Wine grapes on a vineImage via Wikipedia

So, we're wrapping up our series on the D.D.A.E. Equation

That's asking what you need to Do, Delegate, Automate or Eliminate... so your schedule has a better balance between work and life.

So... yes... "E" is for the "Eliminate" step! 

This is a HUGE step... and for some... it's the most difficult of the 4 steps.

This is the step in which we look at our schedules and to-do lists and decide on a few things that could/should be eliminated, in order to have more time and energy to do more of what we want/need to do.

And, the hardest part, is sometimes this actually involves cutting out some "good" and even "really good" things in order to move into the "Great" things we are called to walk out.

YIKES! 

I know... that can feel scary!  Can't it?

Plus, eliminating "good" and "really good" things can almost seem irresponsible! 

But... I offer the grape vine as the ultimate illustration of the need to "eliminate" some things.

That's right, the grape vine.

Many of you know that pruning a grape vine is one of the most important elements of producing a robust crop of luscious grapes.

Yup. 

That means pruning old wood from the plant.  But it also means pruning some perfectly good buds too.

Why? 

Well, grape experts tell us that removing a percentage of good buds from each vine allows the remaining buds to thrive. 

It allows the plant to shift more nutrients to the those buds enabling them to grow into rich bunches of juicy grapes. 

In fact, one expert from www.grapefacts.com stated, "If you don’t prune your plant, you can be assured it will produce less fruit and in a couple years, stop bearing fruit all together."

Can you identify?

Have you ever felt some dead wood in your schedule?

Or maybe you've been overwhelmed by the number of "budding" activities in your planner?

Well, it's time to prune. 

It's time to eliminate some things. 

And yes, this might even involve cutting away some "good" or "really good" things.

Here are a couple of questions to guide you in this pruning process:

  • If I quit ______________, what would I do with that time?  (Does your answer outweigh the value of the item you would quit?)
  • Am I wanting to quit ______________ because I am not moving forward or because I'm not moving forward as fast as I'd like to?  (If it's the later, you may want to stick it out a little longer.  Sorry to mix metaphors, but if it's the former, you may want to cut bait and fish in another hole!)

Give it some thought.  Your answers may surprise you.

Then, take a good grape grower's advice and snip a few buds and some old wood.

Oh, and let us know how it goes by clicking on comments and telling us your story!

Lastly, I wanted to give you an example of this from my life...

After blogging for IowaBiz.com for over year, I've decided to step down as an author.  (This will be official at the end of April.) 

This has been an incredible experience and I have been honored to blog alongside such great authors and biz leaders!  Plus, it's been fantastic to get to work with the great people at the Des Moines Business Record!

But, after pondering these questions (and some others) I realized that I needed to "prune" this opportunity, so that I could devote more of my resources to some of the other "buds" on my vine. 

So, I'll be with you here one more month, but after that I'll be simplifying and dreaming BIG!

Thanks for being in this adventure with me and thanks for all the support along the way!

Need some additional motivation on your pruning? 

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