In a period of a work day, leaders typically participate in multiple meetings, make numerous decisions and assign various amounts of tasks and projects. Leaders also engage in countless conversations which concludes in new assignments needing to be completed. All these important efforts, time and communications spent often goes wasted as many of the objectives are forgotten and goes undone because there’s simply isn’t any followup.
Everyone in today’s work environment are expected to be able to multitask. It is just common that leaders and managers are juggling multiple projects and multiple tasks at any given time. Therefore, it is quite understandable that things slips through the cracks and are missed. It happens to the best of us and it happens to all of us. We simple aren’t capable of remembering every single thing that happens during the day. We can’t remember all the conversations that we have and we just can’t keep track of all our responsibilities without help.
Of course there are certainly issues that are quite easy to remember. At any given point in time, leaders maintain top 1-2 high priority issues which gets the bulk of the attention. Since these issues gets to priorities, they need not be worried about in terms of forgetting. However, the details with in those issues may be issues that could be missed or forgotten if not careful.
Easy to forget issues typically occurs through hallway conversations, over a cup of coffee or even over a meal. Regardless of where those conversation takes place, by the time we get back to our desk to write it down, give it more thoughts, and possibly begin working on it, we get distracted. On the way back to our desk from the conversation, we could be encountered with another conversation on another topic which also needs attention. We could get distracted by a phone call, or just simple looking through the phone and going through social media. There are endless possible distractions all around us, so information slipping our minds is common.
Conversations we have via text messaging, chat apps, and even emails too gets lost in the mix. Although it continues to exist within the tool, allowing us to go back and review them, unless we remember the conversation and just needs to check on the specifics, they too can easily get lost in the mix of all other communications which takes place on those platforms.
If leaders fail to follow up on the important conversations they have and things gets missed, then why bother having those conversations at all? It’s a waste of time and effort for all parties involved, time and effort which could be much better used elsewhere. As leaders, we must make all efforts to followup and follow through after our meetings, conversations and decisions we make.
To help leaders remember the conversations and to followup, there are many possible options. The one option we should not use is our own memory. That just won’t work, and we can’t overestimate and over exhaust our memories that way. Our minds can be put into much better use. Being in the midst of the technology age, we should look to use technology to help us with tracking issues and tasks. The following are the top 5 app tool which could help leaders greatly in this effort
- Evernote for taking all kids of notes
- Microsoft OneNote for a free option
- Apple Notes for Mac users
- Simplenote for distraction-free note taking
- Standard Notes for secure, encrypted note taking
Applications are great to help leaders remember and followup on important items, big or small. Regardless what leaders decide to use, it is important for leaders to recognize that followup is essential. If there are other methods besides the suggested apps which are effective, wonderful. Do share. But if you have yet to find what works for you, try something until you figure out what can and will help you be the most efficient leader who are able to followup on all items and issues.
Photo by: Maddi Bazzocco
Denny Nguyen, a veteran IT leader and experienced operational manager with 15+ years working in the software and software related service industry. Currently, Denny oversees global operations of LogiGear including IT infrastructure and services, and facility worldwide and marketing and business development for the APAC region.
Started out as a test engineer, Denny has excelled his career into project management, IT management, account management, customer relation management, and marketing and sales management. In 2004, when LogiGear began to establish its present in Vietnam with two Software Testing & Research centers in Saigon and the third center in 2009 in Danang, Denny was instrumental and the key leader who was chartered to build out the entire foundation and infrastructure for LogiGear to grow for the next twenty years.