How I regroup – or – deciding what to ignore

Gretchen Steenstra | 12.19.13
Topics: Tips - Trends - TechTalks, Everything Else


Page 9 from the Diary of a Procrastinator

Soooo… what should I do this morning? Not sure where to start. I have a big project looming and a few tedious chores. What to do?

  • Check email, organize email
  • Read a few newsletters
  • Check LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter
  • Surf around to see what people are talking about online
  • Time for coffee
  • Lap the office to check on colleagues

I’m hungry! What time is it? 1pm??? Holy cow – I wasted half the day! Rats!


One of my favorite tools to help me and members of my team concentrate is to pull out a simple chart that was part of a workshop hosted by Francie Dalton. We were instructed to fill out this form as well as share it with our supervisor to complete. Compare the results and sync them up. I tack this on by board and read it when I need a gentle reminder to get down to business.



Things you do well and are part of your job




Things you do well that are NOT a part of your job




Things you do NOT do well and ARE part of your job




Things you do not do well and are NOT part of your job





What skills are strong and are part of your job?

This is an easy one but sometimes gets washed out by the box to the right. It takes a lot of concentration to ignore the calling to be distracted by skills you have that are NOT part of your job. When I am tired or frustrated, I tend to go to my base skills that may not be relevant to my current job.

While working on an Interim CIO project, I had to create the IT budget for the year and prioritize what was essential and what could be held or eliminated. I was not thrilled by this exercise, so I spent a few hours writing procedures with visual aids for another department. Was this part of my CIO job? No. Is this something I do well? Yes.

With my budget deadline looming, I created a Success/Ignore chart for my project. It helped me regroup and buckle down to work on a project that was part of my job, but is difficult for me.

What skills need development and are part of your job?

When I am planning a professional and personal growth plan, I refer to this handy chart to make sure I stay in the friendly green side. While it would be wonderful to work on skills that are not strong and are not part of my job, my time is limited so I have to spend time wisely.


Flickr photo by cliph

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