Turbo Leadership Systems

Phone: (503) 625-1867 • Fax: (503) 625-2699 • email: admin@turbols.com
Issue 17 To our clients and friends October 19, 2004
Making A List and Checking It Twice
Larry W. Dennis, Sr.
Turbo Leadership

Forming good habits starts by breaking bad habits.

Ron, project manager for a large construction company in eastern Washington told Session 9 of the Leadership Development Lab™:

"At session 7 of the Turbo Leadership Development Lab™ we were asked to identify and write out a process problem we were having in our department. I was having a struggle getting all of my work done during the day.

The following week at session #8 of our Turbo Leadership Training we applied a 5 step problem solving process to our individual problems. The solution my team came up with for my problem was for me to make a list of the tasks I needed to do for each day before starting to work, prioritize the list, and then start working on the list from the top to the bottom. I was to stay focused on the list and not let myself stray from the #1 item until my #1 priority was finished.

After class and armed with my solution I went back to my office and started to work. Yes, right off the bat I reached out, grabbed a stack of papers, and started to go through them because I knew they had to be done. WOW, I had just come back with an answer for my problem and I wasn't using it. I put the stack of papers back on my desk and started to make my list. I scanned my desk for things I needed to do and then I started to go through, in my head, the items I needed to accomplish before days end. I found myself trying to start on work that I had not put on my list. Just making the list was breaking me out of my normal,

but not very productive, routine.

I finished my list and then number prioritized each item as to which I needed to do first. When this was completed, I started to do the work on my list. I let the phone go to voicemail a few times and stayed on task. I worked through my list from number 1 on down. My list had 14 major items on it when it was complete. At the end of my workday, my list only had three items left and none of them had to be completed by the end of business that day. I left work with a real sense of accomplishment, I just felt GOOD.

The lesson I learned from this experience is if I have a solution to a problem, I need to use it! Make a list and stay with it. I also learned from this experience how difficult it is to break old habits and how empowering it can be when I push through the natural resistance to change.

The action I call you to take is to make your list and stay with it. Beyond better organizing your day's activities, I recommend that you look at the patterns limiting your performance, notice the courage and pain that it might require to break out of those patterns. Notice at the same time the sense of personal power you'll experience when you improve your performance by breaking out of your old patterns.

The benefit you will gain is a renewed sense of empowerment. Your accomplishments will strengthen your self-esteem and give you a Turbo thrust."