• If you are new to these Forums, please take a moment to register using the fields above.


No announcement yet.

How to get things done you do not support?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • How to get things done you do not support?

    Good morning,

    usally my NAs get done quickly, but some are like "sticky notes" they stay and just don't get done...

    These are NAs that belong to projects I don't support. Means e.g. something my boss thinks is a great idea (but then he lets me do all the work and is not supportive at all) but I don't (or I need more external support)...

    How do you get those type of things done - with a good feeling and motivation?

    Take care

  • #2
    Seems to me there is no difference between a project you don't support and a project you do support, assuming you don't have the power to delete or delegate projects you don't support. They are all valid projects and require/deserve/demand that they be assigned N/A's and moved toward timely completion.

    As a matter of fact, in some organizations how you manage projects you don't support might be the difference between who gets promoted and who doesn't (or who gets to keep their job and who doesn't).

    This may not address the "good feeling and motivation" aspect of your question, but there are many times when cold reality trumps how we might feel about a particular issue.
    Last edited by spectecGTD; 02-01-2006, 02:52 AM.


    • #3
      You are right - there is no difference between the two kind of the end I get everything done I have to before the deadline.

      But...the difference for me is: They bother me a long time before I do them.
      I'm looking for ways to motivate my self to do them quicker (and probably better)


      • #4
        You may not be able to 'feel good' about completing a project you don't support, but you can eliminate the period of dread & procrastination in which you dwell on how much you don't like it.

        The sooner you get that kind of 'have to' out of the way, the less time you'll expend (negative) energy on it.


        • #5
          For projects that you don't like but have to do anyway, you may need to use all the anti-procrastination strategies you can think of.

          It sometimes helps to tie the project to a larger goal, as long as the goal is still small enough to be tangible. "I have to do my taxes or I'll go to jail" is too big. But how about "if I do my taxes now, I can get my refund in time to pay for my spring vacation?" (Or at least, "if I do my taxes now, I can put money away instead of having a big bill April 15.")

          The best approach for me seems to be to break the unpleasant work down into the smallest possible chunks -- I can do *anything* for fifteen minutes -- and to reward myself for doing it. Try not to make the reward bigger than the accomplishment, though. You don't get to spend the afternoon reading a novel because you spent fifteen minutes making cold calls, but taking five minutes to read your favorite online cartoons wouldn't be out of line.

          The worst are unpleasant projects that also require focused concentration, like doing your taxes or working on company budget proposals. For these, it can help to have company in your misery. Find someone else in the same fix and set up a time to get together and work. (Yes, this is exactly like finding a homework partner when you were in school.) You can also make your reward bigger as the amount of work accomplished gets bigger. Working on your taxes for an afternoon has got to at least be worth a premium chocolate bar or a good beer.

          Hope this helps,



          • #6
            I hear your pain & anti-prcrastination methods

            I thought Katherine's comments were (as usual) spot on. And I can commiserate: I had "schedule oral surgery" on my @Calls for ... longer than I'd care to admit. The only thing that made me do it was to focus on the successful outcome - keeping the teeth in my head.

            Additional thoughts:

            o Try the STING method (Select one task, Time yourself, Ignore everything else, No breaks, Give yourself a reward). You can read more on my post Use the STING method to stop procrastinating, if you're interested.

            o As a programmer who uses Extreme Programming, the idea of Pair Programming is a godsend. If I'm not motivated, at least there's good chance that my partner is!



            • #7
              A few years ago I was charged with developing a program that allowed empoloyees to rate their satisfaction level of dealing with employees in other departments. Management wanted to try to figure out where the problems were in inter-department communication and service. My heart was not in the project at all and I was very candid with my manager at the time that I felt the concept of this program was to make up for bad management practices. I felt that if the managers were doing what they should have been doing then they would be able to identify and work out those problems between themselves without needing a highly specialized computer program to "quantitfy the unquantifiable".

              Having said all that I assured him that "I will not let my personal opinions interfere with my professional obligations."

              I produced a very good program that met all the teams specifications, put it into production, and trained the trainers that would train the employees and managers how to use the program. The program is still prominently linked to on our intranet but I don't think it has been used in years, and generally died a whimpering death a few months after roll-out because of the reasons I stated above.

              The phrase that I told my boss has helped to keep me going on a number of projects that I didn't feel met the objectives of our organization. Try it. Repeat after me:

              I will not let my personal opinions interfere with my professional obligations.

              I will not let my personal opinions interfere with my professional obligations.

              I will not let my personal opinions interfere with my professional obligations.

              I will not let my personal opinions interfere with my professional obligations.

              I will not let my personal opinions interfere with my professional obligations.

              Oh, and one other thing. If your the task you have to do CONFLICTS with your deeply held personal values then you ought to consider leaving the organization. For example if you believe that drinking alcohol is wrong and you get put on a project developing a beer commercial then it's probably time to leave the organization.