Tip of the Week
Tip: The last step is…“Did you check on it?”
If ever there was an important Tip from which to learn a good lesson, this is it! Learning this lesson has saved me so many headaches I can hardly believe it! If you want to eliminate unexpected surprises, reduce your daily stress level and increase your daily productivity level, then this Tip is definitely for you!
Most of us work hard at being efficient and fulfilling our responsibilities. We want to be diligent and see a task through to its completion. The breakdown occurs, however, when we fail to understand that seeing something through to the very end actually requires ONE MORE STEP than we often first realize.
Let me give you a personal example of what I mean. In preparing a package to send to someone by way of Federal Express, I carefully put the proper address information on the package label. After double checking to be certain that I had addressed it correctly, I took the package to a FedEx drop box. I looked to see when the next pick-up was scheduled so I did not miss the cut off time for that particular day. Most people would think at that point my job had been finished and I had completed my assignment. After all, isn’t that all I could do? Not so! There is one more step to be taken. That final step was taken when I followed up by calling the individual who was to receive the shipment to see if the package was actually delivered. When they told me that the package had been received and was in their hands, then and only then had my responsibility been completed.
Now, I know that some of you are thinking, “That is ridiculous. I do not have the kind of time to check that thoroughly on everything that I do.” And I totally agree with you! But, if we are to move from good to great, it will require a little extra effort on our part. In order to move to the next level in any endeavor it will require actually moving to the next level! What does that mean? It means exactly what it says. It requires more diligence on our part! In a word, it actually requires movement! (By the way, why do you think FedEx has a tracking system if this step is not necessary? Just because you have sent something to someone does not mean that they actually received it.) I have learned from experience that a thousand things can derail our best laid plans. To be certain that a task is truly successful, it will require double checking and going that one extra mile. When the person tells you that the package is in their hands, then, and only then, has the job been completed.
Have you ever sent someone an e-mail only to have them say to you, “I never received it.”? When you did not receive a timely reply from them, it should have been an alert to the possibility that they did not get it. It would have only taken a minute to call the person in order to make sure that they actually did receive the information you sent. But again, not everyone is willing to be that thorough and experience personal growth and success. Everyone talks about going to “the next level”, but few are willing to do the leg work it takes to actually experience the next level!
This is a hard Tip to absorb because it requires a major amount of responsibility on our own part. I wish I were wrong about it. I truly wish that everything we thought we had completed was, in fact, actually accomplished. However, I have lived long enough to know that is not always the case. The question is not whether I did something or not, but rather, did I check to see that it was actually completed?! It is not much fun to do, but it will separate the people who only wish to be successful from those who actually experience personal success because of the extra effort they have extended in taking this ONE FINAL STEP.
I once had a football coach who told a teammate friend of mine that he was mediocre. My friend said to the Coach, “That sounds like a pudding!” The Coach said, “You are getting mediocre mixed up with tapioca!” Why am I telling you that story? Because it illustrates just how easy it is to get things mixed up!
Learning to follow through on tasks and double checking situations in order to be clear has saved me time, effort, money and many a headache. I am sure this Tip will help take you lower your stress and increase your productivity on a daily basis as it takes you to the next level…if you are willing to go to the next level with it!
Tip: The last step is…“Did you check on it?”
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm
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