Gary, shop foreman for a Washington cabinet manufacturer, told Session 9 of the Leadership Development Lab (LDL):
“Last week I was doing the LDL weekly reading in Making Moments Matter, 89 Tools for Taking Charge of Your Time, Chapter 8. I started to re-think my approach for the use of my time. This chapter, in part stresses the value of making lists to help manage your time. My wife is a list person; I am not and have never been. I work from memory and as the day unfolds, I do what is placed in front of me next. As I reflected on my approach, I realized it is very reactive. My agenda, schedule, and priorities are all outer directed by circumstance. I decided to experiment with a list at work to see if I could get more done with less stress. At least this way my wife could not hold me accountable. What I discovered was that with a list, I could get the important things done faster and easier than ever before. When I didn’t feel like there was enough time to get everything done, the list eased my mind and made it easier to recall and focus on what my real priorities were and what needed to be done next.
“With a list I am more proactive and focused on the high priority projects and tasks that need attention now! When emergencies, crises and questions come rushing in on me and they still do, I can return to where I was and what my next priority is. I now know that I am far more productive with a list and get a good feeling when I hold myself accountable for what is on my list today. When I check finished tasks and projects off my list I get a special sense of successful accomplishment.
“The lesson I have learned from this experience is that lists work! Lists bring order to my thoughts and make it easier for me to get the things done that really need to get done today. With a list of checked off achievements, I get an earned sense of accomplishment.
“The action I call you to take is to make lists to help you organize your work, life and time. When you check off completed items you will be more productive and feel a sense of accomplishment that will help you gain the confidence to set bigger targets and you will achieve more than you ever have in the past.
“The ultimate benefit you will gain is you will get more done in less time and feel better about yourself.”