Monday, April 23, 2007

Poke me

I tend to go to a lot of meetings, and usually what comes out of those meetings is a lot of things for me to do.

Very often, months will pass before I look at my (handwritten) notes from that meeting, and I will see highlighted, asterisked, and underlined notes of things I should have done ages ago.

Since most of these items are "forward my e-mail on this subject to so-and-so" or "add this person to the e-mail list," I tend to ask that person to e-mail me a reminder to do that. I've done it for other people, too, with good results--just a one-line e-mail reminding them to do it.

At a meeting I was at tonight, I decided to use a name for this action. "Poke me about putting that item in the next newsletter." "Poke me to send you Jen's e-mail address."

I think it's quite appropriate, and I'm posting it here to poke myself into using it more often. Let's hope it gains wings.

- RG>


jason said...

When you ask somebody to email you a reminder, you're asking them to put something on *their* to-do list (namely emailing you), that will put something on *your* to-do list. Perhaps you should just put it on your to-do list directly and immediately.

It seems like this is actually a back-handed way to get others to help you set your priorities. (If it's not important enough for them to remember to email you about, it's not important enough for you to do.) If you and the other person were to determine the priority right away, you would be in greater control of your own to-do list.

This poking methodology means that you are constantly reacting to others' demands on your time. Better for you to set your own agenda. A little work up-front will make you more productive later.

More about this in David Allen's Getting Things Done.

Unknown said...

FYI: teh new trend in America (at least for immature high-schoolers)is to refer to Canada as Canadia. Emphasis on the 2nd a. Not to be mean, honestly, just thought a Canadian (again, emphasis on the 2nd a) should know this.