A client of mine recently sent me a LinkedIn post from Katelyn Strobel that really landed. In it, she shares big goals she has for this quarter, then adds:
A few weeks ago, I stumbled across this idea of “strategic underachievement” from the book Four Thousand Weeks. The core concept: You’ll inevitably underachieve at something. When you decide in advance what you’ll fail at, you take control and eliminate any shame.
Katelyn goes on to share things she’s going to intentionally “suck at” including networking and cooking. I loved this so much that I immediately did this exercise with a CEO client who was feeling overwhelmed by the countless tasks in front of her.
We first brainstormed all the things she might intentionally underperform at. Next, we reviewed that list and landed on three areas she’d deprioritize in the next few months: investor meetings, events, and strategy sessions. I noticed an immediate change in her and this new clarity energized her.
Whether you’re a CEO or entry-level worker, it’s easy to add new things to your list. But what are you doing to substract from that list?
I invite you to answer the question: what will I intentionally underperform at right now? What can in my life can I deprioritize so I can focus on the most important things?
In Katelyn’s words, “Deciding in advance what you’ll fail at, allows you to take control and eliminate any shame.”
Give yourself space to intentionally underperformed more often.