Lately I’ve been feeling that there is an epidemic in lack of follow through. My mom recently had some health issues that required me to make a lot of calls to healthcare professionals, case workers, doctors, etc. I know that these are busy professionals but isn’t returning calls part of their job? I even called one office that warned if you left a message after 3pm, your call would not be returned until the next day. Great. I left three messages nearly two weeks ago and still nothing. This is so frustrating. How can you run a business like this? I think the truth of it all is that many businesses are run like this.
At work I’ve been battling co-workers to complete required paperwork or do mandatory trainings. I’m feeling that these things aren’t accomplished until you’re standing over them or the big boss has to intervene. I’m a definite rule-follower and hate to feel that I dropped the ball or that someone had to pursue me to accomplish something. Why don’t more people hate it?
So how do you develop more follow through? Here’s what I’ve come up with.
1. For God’s sake, write it down! It does not matter whether or not you keep a paper or electronic planner. Put it in writing. It’s hard to follow through on something you can’t remember you were supposed to do.
2. Prioritize. Right before I go to bed I make out the next day’s to do list. I do this on my scheduling template that I print and bind into a spiral notebook. See my shop if you’re interested. I prioritize what MUST done and put it first. If it has to come later in the day, I break out the highlighter.
3. Be the model for follow through. I’m amazed at how contagious good habits are around co-workers.
4. Do what you hate first. I read a whole book called Eat That Frog! that’s sole message was to do what you don’t want to do first. Dreading something just drains your day of energy. Do it first.
I always try to remember it’s not what I say that matters but what I do.