Make a list, check it twice

It is the season for giving. According to legend “the Man” will make a list and check it twice. Well that is not a bad idea!

Making a list is severely underrated. Lists are great, they force you to think through your next moves and evaluate your next steps. When taking stock of your current projects, include in your list the project, in short the status at this moment, the next step you need to take (or someone else needs to take) and then a comment about what it is that keeps you from taking that next step. This is the most crucial piece of it. Most managers will recognize this situation. You have a great project but it is stuck somewhere. It is not moving forward for some reason and the challenge is to find out exactly what it is that keeps the project from moving forward.

Common reasons include:

– failing to have absolute goal clarity (see our contribution on Goals)

– not wanting to confront a  blockages, either a person or a situation (see our contribution on Conflict)

– being swamped with other work (= lack of priority setting) (see our contribution on Process)

Read our downloads on Goals and Conflict for some pointers on how to handle some of this.

You may already be familiar with David Allen’s system of Getting Things Done but if not you may want to read up about it and follow his advice.

My summary of the whole system is that you need to make lists and check them (twice) regularly.


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