Start 2021 Free of Loose Ends and Task Debt
Our CEO writes a monthly Coach's Corner column for Human Resources Executive Magazine. This month, he is making an appeal to all of us — don’t start 2021 drowning in task debt:
As you wind down the year (or begin the new year, depending on when you read this), you have the unique opportunity to give yourself a gift: the gift of completion. And while the idea of taking on new projects, setting new goals or developing new habits is alluring—exhilarating, even—if we do it on a poor foundation, then it can be a bit like trying to cook your favorite meal in a filthy kitchen.
Task debt is the cumulative effect of all our loose ends, and it can weigh on us, causing us to feel like we’re never caught up or satisfied with what we’ve gotten done in a given day or week. It can scratch latent Imposter Syndrome, distract our focus or generally have us lower our aspirations and appetite to take on anything new or drive change, knowing just how much task debt we’re schlepping around.
At PILOT, we’ve created a #loose-ends Slack channel, where we all celebrate each time we tie up even the smallest of incomplete tasks and solicit the help of colleagues to get various “stuck” items across the finish line. It truly is a team effort, and we all come together to inspire each other to wring a great deal of accomplishment out of the month of December, instead of petering out and starting the new year back in our familiar, oppressive, dirty kitchen. Importantly, we generally also set a moratorium on starting anything new so that we can free up our capacity to focus on finalizing what’s already in flight.
Read Ben’s full column here and watch this video of his personal reflections: