Do you have too many Projects to Complete before Year-End?

Last week I asked you to buy post-its and start to plan Week 48 to Week 52. Did you write down 15 priorities for the countdown to the holidays? Did you split a whiteboard into five weeks? Did you do really do this?

I bet you didn’t do this even if you thought it was a great idea.

Why is that?

I have a contract with the NSA and installed a small camera in your i-phone and can watch you all day long.

I know how we all function and you and I have a lot in common. Sometimes we are making ourselves too busy to do what helps us to be less busy and more organized.

Last week I gave you the example of the laptop that I had not cleaned up in years so I could hardly work on it anymore. This week I have a new example: The lights in my bathroom. They need fixing. I think they have been broken for about two years. You might wonder, why I have not been able to call a handyperson or go to COOP Bau&Hobby and get this done.

Well, there is a simple explanation: I tried once or twice to find the lights and then I was discouraged and gave up. Next, I tried to delegate the responsibility for the task to my partner, which did not trigger any action either (just a few discussions).

And about two weeks ago, I finally emailed the rental agency. And you know what? A handyperson called me and will come by shortly. Well, I’m telling you this little example because we often do this in our professional lives as well. We accept a mediocre solution or we try to put a plaster on a process instead of analyzing the root cause of the issue.

We hire more consultants to help us administer a workflow tool that does not deliver the data we need instead of training the data entry specialist in the Philippines or in India so that the data is entered correctly. We implement three levels of controls instead of helping the first handler of the data to deliver a zero error quality report.

Have we lost all of our ideals of Total Quality Management from the good old nineties? What about Kanban and visualizing process flows? What about getting it right for the first time and being highly effective?

What I have noticed is, that I can live with certain flaws in my personal space. I can accept a less than perfect light in the bathroom but I cannot accept it in my work. One of the reasons why my apartment almost looks the same as five years ago is that my energy goes more into my profession. You could say that this is fundamentally wrong or you could say that maybe one needs to balance both areas.

My main message for today is that inaction and delegating responsibility won’t get the job done. If you wish to push your fifteen priority projects until the year-end you need to visualize them and then tick them off or decide which ones you can push to 2018.

Ok, have you started finally?

Then, I would like to encourage you to chose now another color of a post-it note, e.g. green and write down five projects you wish to complete at home. Then take another color such as yellow and write down five contacts you wish to connect with before the year-end.  Finally, take another color such as orange and note down five requests of your partner or children that you would like to fulfill until the year-end.

Once again, I invite you to send me a photo of your project wall, ideally with your name on it. If I receive ten or more by 1 December, I promise to share mine with all of you. ☺

Kind regards
Angie Weinberger

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