I once learned a valuable lesson while having my hair blown dry at my local Dry Bar. I had been walking down the street post-yoga with my pounds of hair twisted into a sweaty knot when a sweet voice stopped me and said, “Excuse me. Would you like a free blow-out? I’m a trainee and we’re looking for volunteers to practice on.” I replied, “Sure! You might regret it though once you see it let loose.” I followed her in and proceeded to watch her work magic on my head. I also was a fly on the wall as her instructors were teaching the new staff the non-negotiables of the job.
I remember there being about five non-negotiables during their famous signature blow-out, one being to never turn off the dryer while working with a client – it slows down the process. Non-negotiables are all around us and most of us have them even if we don’t explicitly list them. For example, you may not date smokers or eat anything partially hydrogenated. Personally, I meditate for 20 minutes before checking email in the morning. If you’re a parent, it’s likely that you have set some non-negotiables with the little people in your life.
Non-negotiables are the rules that hold us to our standards. If all else fails, these are the constants we can rely on to keep us close to our axis. To veer off is to create a slippery slope. Have you ever tried to eat just on Pringle? Waistlines, corporations, and households are all kept healthy with their own personal set of rules.
Set some non-negotiables in your office. Create an “If all else fails” list. Just like with Dry Bar, keep it short. I actually suggest limiting it to three. Begin by asking yourself what happens daily that adds to the chaos. Next, ask yourself what category of things causes you the most stress? Create rules around these. Some examples:
If all else fails:
- Receipts will be emptied into the “Deductible Receipts 2013” folder at the end of the week.
- “To Scan” stash is scanned by 5pm Friday.
- My scissors never leave the desk.
- I open my mail at the end of the day.
- Paper never goes on the floor.
- Unpaid bills land in the blue folder.
- Post-its are processed & eliminated at the end of the week.
Do you already adhere to some non-negotiables? What is one non-negotiable that you are going to put into place? Please share in the comments below!