Ever have one of those days where in your mind you knew what you needed to do and were so sure you wouldn’t forget, but next thing you know it’s 5 pm and guess what you forgot? Yep, me too! Like a little too often lately. Like today.
This time of year it’s very easy to get distracted with so much on our minds and on our to do lists before year end at work and with the holidays upon us. Add to this staff that may be in and out more often at this time of year (or working from home!) and it’s a perfect storm for getting overwhelmed and off-track. Santa isn’t the only one who should be making his list and checking it twice!
One of my main functions at The Branch is focusing on our systems and procedures and ensuring our daily actions are driving our bigger goals. It’s my favorite part of the job and it gives me the opportunity to do a lot of training and cheerleading. As a mia culpa to my lateness in this very blog post, I’m sharing with you a team training message I sent weeks ago after returning to work from an extended absence due to illness.
We live in a fast-paced world and the event industry is very hectic at times. I hope this gives you some incentive to slow down and stick to your systems.
I am back!! And cannot wait to see everyone tomorrow afternoon!! As you can imagine, it’s a little overwhelming trying to get caught up on work that was left undone and at the same time get up to speed on new projects and priorities. And I made a big mistake already today. One I bet y’all can relate to. I let the train carry me down the track. I was not in the driver’s seat. I’ve been working for hours, but I went where the email train took me. I did not do the 3 things that were on my mind yesterday when I thought about my priorities for today. The 3 things I knew I needed to do and I planned to get done right away this morning. One of which was this very team email.
Just like our systems for the team we each have to really think about our individual work systems (or lack thereof), our habits and tendencies. The worst part is the 3 tasks I had to do all require a lot of thought. Which I know comes to me faster in the morning. Now I am dragging and I run the risk of these tasks taking me longer because I got in a groove and forgot all about my to-do list and my priorities. I share this with you because it is such an easy mistake to make!
What can happen is that you will have worked hard all day but NOT be on track if you operate like this. And, if you do it daily, you will be out of alignment with your priorities and, possibly, your job description and expectations. This is an especially easy mistake to make when you are either on autopilot or overwhelmed. Add some added distractions or a couple fires to put out and your day can really get off track!
But the even bigger problem that can happen, as you can imagine from my example, is that this can create a disconnect between me and Debby. If she were to ask me why my team email didn’t get done today, I might be defensive initially because I am thinking “umm, cuz I did all that other stuff” “All those emails and research I sent you?” I just worked hard all day, right? And in response to a bunch of emails she and other people sent me. In Debby’s mind, however, she’s wondering, “but why did the one thing I expected you to do not get done?”
This is where we can be communicating about to-dos, expectations and priorities and all know what they are, and in essence be on the same page; and, yet, because I with all good intentions got derailed (Sorry, too many mixed train metaphors!) we ARE NOT on the same page. The end results demonstrate something else. Debby would be left feeling like “what wasn’t clear?” “I thought she understood her to-dos and deadlines.”
Was I doing my job? Technically, yes, but I was not on track with my TOP priorities. If you do not keep in mind your top priorities you will likely not meet the expected deadlines and we’ll have what seem like communication problems that are really organizational and prioritizing problems. Make sense?
Here’s a great article on avoiding this very pitfall. http://jamesclear.com/time-management-tips. I’ve shared some of James Clear’s articles with you before. I love him because he writes so, well, clearly!
He echoes a concept I learned about at my short stint with Hulafrog. DO ONE THING FIRST THING. Before anything else – email, etc. Do the one thing that is most critical that day and get it done. Then start your normal routine. Or, as Clear, says,
If you do the most important thing first, then you’ll never have a day when you didn’t get something important done. By following this simple strategy, you will usually end up having a productive day, even if everything doesn’t go to plan.
Okay, 1 important thing done, 2 to go! Back on track! And I hope you are too.
See you tomorrow,