Monday, December 1, 2014

It's not DONE yet!

Hi, this is Tony Sherman the Implementation Rabbi and Impact Teams hoping that as we hit the holiday season, there is nothing broken and nothing missing in your life.

I've had some interesting interactions about some of the prior blog posts, but the one that seems to have caught a lot of people off-guard is my idea that if you haven't finished the task at the end of the day, break it down into at least three subtasks. Apparently, my brevity in that post did not lead to clarity.

So, let me break it down a bit more to show you how I use it. When I teach this as a component of my SPIDER program, my students quickly come to realise that the reason why something is not done, typically falls into one of two categories:
  1. You've bitten off more than you can chew that day, and the task may have been better living on your backlog list rather than your daily integrity list.
  2. It's a task that you really would rather not do, so there is some psychic resistance to doing the task. The classic example of this for me is travel expenses. Quite often, I would find myself moving the item of travel expenses from one day’s to-do list to the next for way too many days than I care to admit.

However, once I created the system where if I did not complete a task or even worse didn't even start the task, I could not carry it forward without decomposing that task, life changed dramatically from better.

I found one of two things would happen to me as I decompose the tasks. I found that I either just put one of the tasks onto my next day’s list, and the other subtasks went on to my backlog. Or as typically happened with travel expenses when I put the three small steps (which were almost embarrassingly small) onto the next days to-do list found that once I started one small task, and completed that to standard, that I naturally just completed the others because I was in the flow and they were really trivial anyway. In the second case, decomposing a psychological barrier into a few small trivial tasks allowed me to overcome my mental inertia.

I hope this bring some clarity into the idea of decomposing a task and using it to maintain your momentum and sense of professional pride as someone who is a can-do person, who doesn't just start tasks, but completes them to standard on time, every time.
Merry Christmas

Until next year, this is Tony Sherman the Implementation Rabbi at Impact Teams wishing you a productive and high-momentum month with nothing broken nothing missing in your work and personal life, Merry Christmas to all.

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