Jun 25, 2014

EASY PEASY By Mike Pallin, Master Trainer and Floyd Wickman Team President 

If you’ve been ‘Wickmanized,’ you subscribe to Floyd’s Core Values, especially this one – To always do what I say I will do, sometimes more, just never less. It is the gold standard, and subscribing to it will both build and reveal character.

Lately, have you found yourself in the middle of doing one thing, trying your best to stay focused, and the monkey brain says, “Don’t forget to check on the septic system on Happy Hollow.” You think, note to self. Check on Happy Hollow. But then, somehow, that little random gust of memory gets lost in the whirlwind of the day, and you forget to check on Happy Hollow.

The busier we get, the more we tend to rely on our memory to remind us of details, follow up, things to do and people to call. And the busier we get, the more details there are to follow up, more things to do, more people to call.

So far, this might be called the year of being really, really busy. My friend, John Brown, this week described it as like being caught up in a tornado – houses flying by, cows, witches on bicycles.

Unlike The Cloud, we don’t have an unlimited storage capacity. That’s the problem with trying to remember everything. Storage and retrieval.

We carry these amazing technological devices around with us day and night called smart phones – and they have an amazing number of ways to capture reminders and things to do. One is called Voice Memo. Another is called Notes. And there’s Reminders. Apps like Evernote. Talk to text. Cameras.

And yet, things still fall through the cracks because we forget. Too busy. Too much going on. And it feels then like we have violated that most important Core Value, and let ourselves and our clients down.

So, let’s back up. Floyd taught us that the #1 difference between consistent big producers and everyone else is that, “Big producers consistently work high priority activities.” And we take his teaching to heart and do our SMART Week. We compile our To Do list and select the Top 5 Most Important Things To Do Today and get to work on them.

The breakdown comes when you’re in the middle of trying to complete one of the Top 5, and something else pops up – a detail, a follow up, another thing to do, someone else we need to call about something totally unrelated to what we are doing . . . and it just slips away.

What we need is a system to capture these reminders that feeds them into our To Do list – so that we can prioritize, and eliminate, or delegate, or automate and make sure they all get done.

Good news. I was given a foolproof method for capturing random reminders by one of our ‘Wickmanized’ family, Alesia Parker from Mobile, Alabama. It’s not exactly high-tech, or even low-tech. In fact, it’s no tech. Which is probably why it’s foolproof.

It is a smallish, spiral-bound notebook and pen. Fits easily into your pocket or purse. When the random reminder thought invades your brain, write it down. At the end of the day, feed all the reminders into your To Do list for the following day. Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy

Here’s a rule of thumb for systems – the simpler the better. 

Forgetting the little things isn’t about cognitive impairment. It isn’t about ADHD. And it isn’t about early onset. And it certainly isn’t about willful neglect. It’s about asking too much of a finite amount of memory while trying to focus on high priorities. 

Once you put this simple reminder system into practice, it will give you the confidence and peace of mind that enhance your ability to pay attention, and stay focused on a task.

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