Determine the Task

Photo by Ivan Bertolazzi on

Something happens at work. You get asked to solve a problem. You have a home DIY/improvement project to complete on weekends. The first thing many of us do is dive straight into the “doing” or action. “‘Let’s get a move on” we say. If we don’t procrastinate at least. While action is a real positive, often we jump into a task without taking a step back and asking ourselves what the task at hand really is. What steps need to be taken is the obvious place to start. But the one that many people miss is having an honest assessment of problems you can already solve and those you might need to adapt to or do something different. At work for example, we don’t like to ask for help in case other people think we’re “stupid” or needy. Or we can defer or delegate to someone else to get it completed quicker. Maybe we don’t actually have the knowledge, skills or expertise required. If that’s the case the issue is how to address this gap – 2 options:

1.) Can we acquire the knowledge and skills required or adapt to the problem?

2.) Do we need to involve others – at work this could be a colleague or expert. At home this could be a tradesman or professional.

Once we commit to a course of action we usually stick to our initial plan as no one likes to hold their hands up and say “oh I’m way over my head here.”But we can avoid this feeling all together if we just take a momentary step back and look at the problem and break down what needs to happen to reach the desired outcome. It’s difficult because we all like to feel competent at work and at home. But sometimes the best thing we can do is just be honest – “I’m going to need help here” or “I’m not sure how to do this but I need to put some time aside to learn what I need to learn.” You can only do this by determining the task, what it is, what will be required and being honest about it. If it’s right up your alley and something you can do with your eyes closed, then great. But if it isn’t – figure out what needs to be done to still reach that outcome.

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