KANSAS CITY — The difference between what we think we do and what we actually do can reveal some surprising opportunities for enhanced performance.
By honestly documenting our actual practices — our daily routines — and then comparing the series of tasks we think we do each day will provide a roadmap for mostpeople for improved efficiency and performance. This is really an instant replay of sorts. Replaying an event or even a whole of the day, is something we all think we do but not in any sort of systematic way.
Here is a good way to provide that systematic approach in three easy steps:
- Write down your daily routines — those things you think you do every day
- Validate that list with your spouse, close friends, assistant, and other co-workers and get their feedback (hint: you may need to explain your motives so they will be more observant)
- Keep a daily log of what you actually do and compare that with what you think you do, what your family or colleagues think you do, and the reality of it all
For most people there will be variances. For some, the variances will be significant. Change for change sake — adjusting the minor details to ensure compliance with what you think you do, or would like to do — is not important. Look for more significant issues that could be eating up valuable time and/or limiting your ability to have adequate time for those matters that are truly important.
Writing down what you think you do and what you actually do is a small part of being self-aware, and self-awareness is a critical leadership competency that is becoming more important with each passing day.