Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Your To-Do List

I've never been the best at keeping a to-do list.  Over the years, I've found that I don't get a lot of satisfaction crossing off tasks written on a piece of paper.
I usually end up getting things done that matter.

I guess I have swirling to-do list in my head all the time (in no particular order):
Get to work in time to at least read a couple e-mails and prepare for the day before folks start walking up to my cubicle
Try something new that gets me out of my comfort zone
Provide an environment for my employees that gives them the greatest chance of success
Make sure someone who works for me knows I appreciate them
Connect with another customer
Build a bridge to person in another department
Complete another project or goal that adds to my "indispensability"

I don't expect the people that work for me to either have a concrete list on a piece of paper or a swirling mental list like me, but I can tell when you don't have any list at all.

You arrive exactly when you are supposed to, and don't have any planning before "game time"
You've done the exact same job, the exact same way for years
You wait for my permission to make connections with folks that could help you be successful
You wait for me to ask you "where you see yourself in five years"
You complain about not having enough time to do things

Your to-do list (no matter what the form) should be about controlling your agenda, instead of letting the day, week, month, year, or lifetime happen to you.

When you work for me, you should expect that I help you ship whatever is on your agenda.  If you don't have one, that leaves both of us in an awkward position.
Most of all, it messes up my to-do list.

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