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Chasing Yesterday

Chasing Yesterday

“Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.” ~Pablo Picasso. While Picasso was an extraordinary artist, his fatalism would mercilessly crush most overworked, time-compressed commoners. Yes, today’s priorities may unfortunately extend into the next day. But, in a world where emergencies do not stop when the shift ends, how do you catch up to ongoing assignments and responsibilities? Chasing yesterday reflects the hopeless case of one day’s action items rolling over to the next day where they collide with the new day’s action items!

Expiring Action Items
Before combating these runaway priorities, put them in a category before the next day arrives. Execute a divide and conquer strategy. Expiring items are activities with an expiration date. Priorities that must be done by today or the opportunity is gone. Request For Proposals fall into this category. Identify these quickly so that responsibility is met before the expiration window passes. Also, lunch has an expiration date. If you work through lunch and don’t make other plans, you will go hungry for that day. And, no amount of rabbits pulled out of your hat can erase that noontime hunger. Prepare better going forward to avoid that pain. But for the moment, accept that you are hungry and defeated.

Exploding Action Items
These items come with a time frame and a catastrophic event. These action items must be prioritized and managed with a call-to-action for additional resources. Payroll functions are exploding items. Organizational Armageddon results from incomplete payroll functions. Hell knows no fury like an unpaid employee! When these problems are identified, they are resolved before most other functions (except larger exploding items). Expiring items that rollover remain incomplete. The train has left the station. Exploding items leave collateral damage! When items are trending toward rolling over to the next day, test their urgency. If there are serious consequences, then take action. Escalate their priority. Items that are not urgent require acceptance that they will rollover to the next day. That item can then be chased again. But, minimize those still.

Chasing yesterday imprisons. Alternatively, ignoring problems means someone else inherits the responsibility. “Not my job” works for the individual. It sucks for the team, particularly when others depend on your contribution. Chasing yesterday results in unfinished business. Watching yesterday’s action items rollover slows progress. Furthermore, ignoring yesterday’s commitments multiplies problems. Determine whether you have expiring or exploding action items. Make a call. Manage the consequences.

 
By Glenn W Hunter
Managing Director of Mo Patton Sports, LLC
Principal of Hunter And Beyond

~Thank You T.P.

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May 30, 2016 - Posted by | Better Business, Better Communication, Better Person | , , , , , ,

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