Work Not Chosen

Jim BensonGeneralLeave a Comment

“What if there’s a task in my options column that just never moves?”

This question comes up in almost every class we teach.

And we ask, “What if that happens?”

We get answers like, “You have to make time for it” or “We need to find out why we didn’t start it.”

Maybe.  Maybe that was something really important and you just happened to do 200 other stickies.  But more likely there are a few other options.

  1. You don’t want to do it. You can then ask yourself, do I really need to do this?
  2. The task is poorly defined. You can then ask, what needs to be better defined? Do I have the understanding to flesh it out? Do I need help?  (Hint: most tasks are poorly defined and that’s okay.)
  3. It’s not really necessary. Does this task really need to be done?
  4. It’s better suited for someone else. Can I delegate this or move it to someone else’s options column?

  5. IT IS HUGE! Is this task so big that it would monopolize your time.

  6. The task has no victory conditions. With no definite end-state, a task is a time sync.

If in doubt, just ask the questions in the box.  Assess the risk.

The point of the options column is to give you the primary option of not doing or changing the nature of the tasks.  Our understanding of our work is emergent. You don’t start out knowing what your real finished product is. Be bold, change your options column often.

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Jim BensonWork Not Chosen

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