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  • Writer's pictureMarty Jalove

Tackle, Table, Teach, or Trash

My first real job was as a Graphic Designer. I define “REAL” job as the one when I was given some freedom to make decisions as opposed to just a list of tasks. In other words, I was given opportunities to succeed or fail.

Master Happiness with Marty Jalove

I quickly found myself not making decisions but collecting piles of paperwork that I thought I’d get to eventually. These piles included questions, possibilities, hopes, and dreams. The piles grew faster than the time I allotted to address them.

My responses to co-workers and supervisors were, “I’m working on that” or “I’ll get to that!” In reality, I was losing control and accomplishing too little, too late.

Luckily, the President of the company, a man named Al Hoffman, took a liking to me, and became an incredible Mentor. He saw the endless piles of paperwork on my desk and knew that I needed some help.

He asked, “Have you ever heard of the Eisenhower Matrix, created by President Dwight D. Eisenhower?” This seemed like it was going to be a very long story as those piles of paper continued to cry for attention. He drew 4 quadrants on my whiteboard and told me that the top two squares were for projects that were Important, and the bottom two squares were for tasks that were Not Important; the left two were Urgent and the right two were Not.

Then he picked up some of my paperwork and asked me which square they belonged in. I was quickly able to label projects as Important/Urgent, Not Important/Not Urgent, and so on.

Al continued, “As a leader, I have a responsibility to my team to help all of you understand your goals and how to get there.”

Tackle, Table, Teach, Trash

He taught me that I needed to TACKLE those tasks that were the most important and most urgent first. I need to dedicate most of my time to getting them done right and right now. The next pile was jobs that were not as urgent but still very important, these could be TABLED but couldn’t be forgotten. These tasks were my responsibility and I had to get them done efficiently, but because of their lack of urgency, I had to make sure that they didn’t take time from today.

Next, he said, “Look at the items that are not that important. Some of these are still urgent but I don’t want you spending your valuable time on these tasks. Instead, I want you to TRAIN others to do these before they become urgent. This is how we will create an unbeatable team.”

And the last pile is filled with good intentions. These items are neither important nor urgent. These become the distractions that pull us away from progress. They may seem fun, but they steal time. TRASH them!

Today, work still occasionally piles up, but I take time to divide those tasks into one of the three spots on my desk or the trash can on the floor. And thanks to Al, this is one of the ways I’ve learned to Master Happiness.

Tackle, Table, Teach, or Trash

As seen in Stroll, Hawthorn Woods CC Magazine. Follow “Bacon Bits with Master Happiness” on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcast, Amazon Music, Audible, or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.

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Marty Jalove of Master Happiness is a Corporate Coach, Business Consultant, and Marketing Strategist that helps small businesses, teams, and individuals find focus, feel fulfilled, and have fun. Master Happiness stresses the importance of realistic goal setting, empowerment, and accountability in order to encourage employee and customer engagement and retention.

The secret is simple: Happy Employees attract Happy Customers and Happy Customers come back with Friends.

Learn more about Tackle, Table, Teach, or Trash at Master Happiness:

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