Taking Control of To Do Lists

I spent some time last week going over my "To Dos" for 2004 at work and for my professional growth. I came across this article in Business 2.0 which I think offers some really good stuff for info types... At IL 2003, speakers discussed applying the business model to what we do in libraries - this makes B2.0 and even more valuable resource. Articles like "How To Create Fanatically Loyal Customers" has some application in the non-profit world of libraries as well. Case in point:

"Customer service starts with employee satisfaction. You can't deliver any kind of service if the employees don't like their work. I was an airplane mechanic, and do you know how much faster I could fix a plane if I really wanted to? Our employees are willing to do more because they enjoy working here."

Anyway, Mission Control is one of the big organizational seminar type places and they stress using a "capture tool" and just recording whatever you realize you must do throughout the day. I use my laptop for this... The next step is to take the bits an put them on "Now Lists" Hmmmm....

At the same time, I discovered an column in USA Today from 12/30/03 by writer Jim Collins about "stop doing lists." Collins asks readers to ponder what they would STOP doing instead of all of the goals we set for ourselves every New Year . He writes:

...The start of the New Year is a perfect time to start a stop doing list and to make this the cornerstone of your New Year resolutions, be it for your company, your family or yourself. It also is a perfect time to clarify your three circles, mirroring at a personal level...three questions:

l What are you deeply passionate about?

l What are you are genetically encoded for—what activities do you feel just “made to do”?

l What makes economic sense—what can you make a living at?

Those fortunate enough to find or create a practical intersection of the three circles have the basis for a great work life.

Think of the three circles as a personal guidance mechanism. As you navigate the twists and turns of a chaotic world, it acts like a compass. Am I on target? Do I need to adjust left, up, down, right?

If you make an inventory of your activities today, what percentage of your time falls outside the three circles? If it is more than 50 percent, then the stop doing list might be your most important tool.

Coolness. I know I am deeply passionate about technology and how it relates to and brings people together or provides knowledge. That must be why I'm in the library biz. I also feel I am "genetically encoded" to share what "gets me going" like speaking at a conference or talking to colleagues at work.

These are two pretty darn cool bits to think about...coming for the New Year, which always seems so full of promise. Ask me later about my "Capture Tool" and "Stop Doing List"

Posted: Mon - January 5, 2004 at 09:47 AM