The picture above is of my Book. The Book is my North Star, my compass, my magic wand for imposing order on chaos. I have had a Book of one sort or another since I was about 8 years old. As a kid, the book was about my observations of the world, a record of things I didn’t want to forget about. I wrote to myself about the space program, becoming a spy, becoming a witch, becoming a doctor. In high school, college, and grad school my Books began to transform from a record of long term wishes to the short term tactical strategies needed to attack and conquer my academic responsibilities.
In 1983 I started my first job in high tech sales, selling timesharing services for Control Data. I kept the notes from all of my sales calls, my to do lists, progress against my quarterly sales quota, etc. In the 30 years since, I’ve tried highly structured note-taking “systems” like the Franklin Planner, but mostly have used plain lined paper that allows me to structure my time and tasks in a way that makes sense to me. For the last ten years or so, the Book has been a black Coach portfolio. This baby is my favorite of all times – with multiple pockets inside and a zipper around the whole thing so stuff doesn’t fall out. In one of its “secret” compartments, I keep notes and photos from my husband and children that remind me who I am outside of work.
The secret of the Book is that there is a code of the Book. At all times, the book contains a to-do list of long term objectives in order to keep me focused on my more strategic goals. Throughout the week as I attend meetings, do email, read articles, talk to people, or have occasional bursts of inspiration, I make copious notes. More importantly, I code the things I have to take action on. If I put a double asterisk on that puppy, that puppy is getting done. Every Friday, for at least 30 years, I create my to-do list for the coming week. I review the strategic to-do list, and schedule the tactical items that have to be addressed in the coming week to meet my commitments.
Folks who’ve worked for me over the years will tell you that I’m relentless on following up, that I don’t forget things. I forget lots of things, but the Book has a very long memory.
Here’s this week’s reading list for those of you looking for a little inspiration of your own:
4 words you should never say to your boss: http://blog.brazencareerist.com/2013/03/21/4-words-you-should-never-say-to-your-boss/
A new way to read news and a multimillionaire at 17: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323605404578382243461824094.html
The ideal praise to criticism ratio: http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2013/03/the_ideal_praise-to-criticism.html
The 2 most important words: http://hbr.org/2013/04/the-two-most-important-words/ar/1
How Direct Deposit killed one of life’s great joys: http://www.tlnt.com/2013/03/28/how-direct-deposit-killed-one-of-the-lifes-great-joys/
3 Ways To Take Advantage Of The Virtual Workforce http://ow.ly/jnZX2 via @Forbes
Workforce Burnout: A Corporate and Health Crisis http://ow.ly/jo0qJ via @HuffPostBiz
Labor Costs Impact Your Business – And Your Customers Too http://ow.ly/jqpIv via @hrbartender
Want Better Engagement? It Helps if Employees Know What It Is: http://ow.ly/jqLeo via @TLNT_com
Morning Advantage: Why It Pays to Pay Your Employees Well http://ow.ly/jqMR0 VIA @HarvardBiz
If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try, Try Again http://ow.ly/jsO54 via @blogging4jobs
#HREOnline: The Telecommuting Tempest http://ow.ly/jsOHo via @HRExecMag
Give Workers the Power to Choose: Cave or Commons http://ow.ly/jsPfa via @HarvardBiz
10 Things To Do Every Workday http://ow.ly/juOOA via @LinkedIn
Kronites are writing about:
New Time Well Spent #Cartoon: http://ow.ly/jo1oh #marchmadness
RT @SmarterCafe: Based on my extraordinary customer experience, there’s no doubt @LowesCares. http://ow.ly/jotHK #custexp
RT @WF_Institute: Enough with the #MarchMadness, I have March Malaise http://ow.ly/jsDNW
RT @SmarterCafe: Overworked Easter Bunny blues… http://ow.ly/jsE8o
All is not equal when it comes to workforce management for retail http://ow.ly/jsEbd via @simonmacpherson @KronosUK
Travel Size – Affordable or Refillable? http://ow.ly/jt5xn via @ToddBlackHRMS #ACA #AffordableCareAct
Piecing together bits of my broken life http://ow.ly/jyfk1 via @SmarterCafe
Flaming Forum http://ow.ly/jyfnB via @SmarterCafe
@MNCPPC (Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission) Deploys #Kronos in the #Cloud: http://ow.ly/jnYcY #KronosCloud
Experience Workforce Innovation That Works at #KronosLive 2013 http://ow.ly/jqNjH
Register now for our FREE customer event to learn about our latest innovations, make connections, & get valuable tips http://ow.ly/jsGgw
The Medical Device Excise Tax: Minimizing Its Impact with a Lean Labor Strategy http://ow.ly/jsGvs0