Senior Editor Tanisha A. Sykes says when it comes to answering phone calls, emails and requests, just do it.
I received a tweet yesterday from a follower saying that she was looking forward to receiving some good small biz tips. Then she followed up with one of her own: Follow-Up is Crucial. The editors of this blog are falling out of their seats with roaring laughter because despite my best efforts, the art of follow-up lately has left me flat on my back wondering: "Why am I always behind the 8-ball?"
I'm clear that part of the reason why is that I say yes to much and don't demand (yes demand) the critical assistance needed to do my job effectively. Yes, I know, whoa is me. But I used to be the follow-up queen and quickly and swiftly admonished anyone who didn't follow suit. So of course, there are a few Tanisha's Tips that can be gleaned from such messiness. Here are a few that come to mind.
Say "No": My gmom has a saying for family members who expected her to do everything. "They think I'm the chief, cook and bottle washer." I've actually prided myself on carrying this title. Yeah, I'm an editor, writer, producer, blogger, manager, professional speaker, project manager, researcher and any other publishing title you can name. But, carrying too much becomes a heavy burden that will cause you to flame out. Just say no.
Plan Your Time: I once told a co-worker that there's a lot that can get done before 10 a.m., our start time at ESSENCE. This is when I follow-up on emails, make calls or edit. It's also when I work out, cook a meal or stay home a little longer to tidy up the house or just relax. Not all on the same day, of course. I alternate depending on my schedule.
Enlist the 24-Hour Rule: I actually got this one from President Obama. He did a press conference last week and told his team if any official affected by Hurricane Sandy calls, give them a response within 15 minutes. Whoa!!! 15 minutes??? That's novel, I thought. Hold it, that's what people are supposed to do. So, this is what I'm going to do. I will try to respond to emails and calls within 24-hours. Boom! I said it. I'm actually good on email. It's the other modes I have to work on.
Hold me to this, ladies. I know you will.