When I see new things, I want to do them. I’m a very kinesthetic learner. This means I want to see, do, touch, try, rip apart and put back together. I want to know what it can do, what it could do, and where both it’s positives and negatives begin and end. If you aren’t sure, I am one more of those tumultuous ENFP people.
The problem is, I often find myself overbooked and tied to so many commitments and due-by dates, I cannot get anything done well. I am not the only person like this. I know many people in the corporate world who face this type of problem on a daily basis. Luckily, I once worked for the smartest Chief Master Sergeant in the Air Force. When I found myself wrapped up in commitments, he would tell me to slow down.
When my Chief Master Sergeant told me to slow down, I had a tough time initially understanding what the Chief was trying to teach me. I was running full speed 12-hours a day, and I could not keep up. I had no idea how slowing down could get everything done. One thing I did know was that he never frivolously told anybody anything. If he told me to slow down, it was because he had been there, and he knew how to get out of the hole.
When a Chief Master Sergeant tells you to slow down, he is telling you to take grasp of your commitments. If something is needed and doable, do it. If other items are more urgent, do them first and get a reasonable extension for everything else. Have a plan of what you will do and when. Every time a new request or commitment comes in, put it into the plan. Does this mean your plans will change? Yep. A calendar or plan of To-Dos is never absolute. Plans and schedules are only directions that are hoped for until the next crisis or higher need shows up. You have to stay flexible in an ongoing situation.
This whole system only works if you are genuine to yourself and to those who are counting on you. You will need genuine communication skills to keep everyone you work with, and all your stakeholders in the loop. When a Chief Master Sergeant tells you to slow down, he is not telling you to take it easy. He is advising you to get yourself and those who count on you organized.
Thank you for being with me today. I hope to be with you again tomorrow.