“When you make a commitment, you build hope. When you keep it, you build trust” - Stephen Covey
For my first office job, I was employed by Modern Printing Company (famous for the Spirax notebook) who at the time had been around for 100 years. It was a great place to learn fundamentals because most systems were processed manually so understanding interdependencies between processes and having an attention for detail were necessary skills. Modern Printing Company was the first time I encountered a colleague who had absolute clarity about what needed to be done but happened to be ineffective. I was young and thought the person had too much work to do (that’s because he repeatedly told me so). I was sympathetic to his situation but as I gained more experience I discovered the real issue was he didn't execute well.
Over the years I’ve encountered many workers who know what needs to be done, talk about it but don't do it. They are poor at planning and prioritisation which is demonstrated by not meeting the unrealistic expectations they set. Projects are over time and budget, deadlines are missed and there’s almost a state of inertia because there’s no evident improvement. It’s almost like being caught in a time loop in the movie Groundhog Day.
Despite this, people in these situations might have the best intent but they don't deliver their best work consistently and are frustrating to work with. They have fundamental flaws in how they work. The good news is if desire exists to perform at a higher level then anyone can improve. It’s a matter of embedding techniques into daily habits. To start:
- Become expert at personal productivity
- Identify and action 1 priority to achieve every day
When you get good at achieving 1 priority each day then add another and continue to expand 1 at a time until you cannot take on anymore.
Harvard Business School Professor Teresa Amabile and Psychologist Steven Kramer are advocates of “the power of small wins - employees are highly productive and driven to do their best work when they feel as if they’re making progress every day toward a meaningful goal.”
Combine developing habits that support workers to achieve with the power of small wins and any worker will Just Do It!!!