Do This To Stop Forgetting Tasks At Work

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Welcome to the People First Culture podcast with me, Michel Falcon, where I share lessons I’ve learned and those of others on how to build a more purposeful business and career.

Hey everyone, welcome to the People First Cultured podcast. I am Michel Falcon. Thank you for listening to another episode, or if this is your first time, welcome. I touch on all things related to developing a great career, growing business through company culture, customer experience, and employee performance. I touch on some things unrelated to that, but still related to career and business from time to time, but it’s primarily focused on company culture, employee performance, and customer experience so that you can build a very fruitful business for yourself or develop a career within an organization that you genuinely enjoy. I am the author of a book called People First Culture, which you can find on Amazon. My name, Michel Falcon, is quite unique. You can go to any search engine, type in my first and last name and connect with me anywhere you would like, whether it’s LinkedIn or Instagram.

And I’m a keynote speaker, so companies hire me to speak at their events on topics related to the ones I just mentioned. And this episode is going to be a short one, but I think it’s valuable because it has provided me a lot of value throughout my career, but I’ve also coached my team members, the individuals who report into me, to use this tactic. That’s very simple and it will cost you absolutely $0, but it’s going to help you stand out amongst other individuals within your organization who you may be competing with for that next great promotion. Now, forgetting tasks at work after they’ve been shared with you by your leader is absolutely preventable. I’ve heard people say, “Oh, I have a bad memory.” But to be very frank, it’s an excuse. Forgetting things is derived from lack of preparation or having a system to be able to support your memory, whether it is good or bad.

We all have the opportunity to do this simple task to be able to make sure that when things are said to us once, they only need to be said to us that one time. I can tell you firsthand, the individuals that I work with, the best, the people who report into me, that I have the most confidence in, the individuals that I will want to keep very close to the company, and often that means make sure that we’re paying them as much as we can to make sure that they’re satisfied are the individuals who give me peace of mind. Now, what gives me peace of mind is if I’m able to share something one time and the individual has built trust with me that I only have to say it to them once. So that way, it allows me to move on with my day and my responsibilities, not having to think about that thing I ask that individual to do. I just know it’s always going to get done.

And perhaps you already have that reputation or maybe you need to coach somebody on how to have that reputation and this tactic will help that. But we’ve heard people be revered and applauded for things like, “Oh, I love Lisa because I only have to tell her things once.” And that’s not because we don’t like repeating ourselves, it’s largely because we love the peace of mind that it gives us when something is mentioned and we know that it is going to be done. A couple years ago, I heard Bob Iger. Bob Iger is the CEO of Disney, and he was interviewed on Tim Ferris’s podcast, and what he said made me kind of reflect on, “Hey, other people are doing this in other regards and for other reasons.” So listen to this part of the Tim Ferriss podcast where Bob Iger shares his recipe for making sure that he doesn’t forget things.

So you see, he has a system for remembering what type of pizza place to go to, but he just emails himself something. Now, whether you like it or not, emailing yourself a reminder is helpful, and you may not like it because you may say, I don’t like email, I don’t love living in email, and I wouldn’t fault you for that. I don’t either. But the fact of the matter is, we interface with email daily. So if somebody says something that needs to be done, and let me share a real world example. Let’s say I’m sitting with Guillermo, he’s our director of culinary and retail operations. We’re sitting together on a Thursday, and during this time, he tells me, “Hey Michel, I need you to sit down with one person on my team because I feel like you would provide this individual the best coaching.” This is on a Thursday. But I don’t know what my calendar’s like the following week for me to tell Guillermo a definitive time right then and there, but I do know that I need to get back to him and it would be wrong if he had to follow up with me on this.

So what I would do in that moment, pull up my phone, excuse myself from the meeting for a moment, and email myself something like, “Get back to Guillermo regarding employee meetup,” And I send it to myself. It’ll be at the top of my inbox so when I go check my email next, because it’s at the top of my inbox, it’s going to remind me to get back to Guillermo and share what day and time might work for me to be able to meet with that team member. See, this is a problem with writing it down in your notebook. Your notebook doesn’t have that ability to remind you of things, how do you know to check page 37 of your notebook? The reason that I like emailing myself is because I know I’m going to interface with that email, and I know I’m going to see it at the top of my inbox.

Now, there’s another thing that I like to do as well. And this is the second part of it, and I call it time blocking. In that same instant, if Guillermo said, “Hey, I need you to meet up with this person,” I would say, “Okay, let me get back to you to firm up a time. But for now, I’m just going to time block Tuesday from 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM.” When I go and schedule my week on Friday… So remember, I’m meeting with Guillermo on Thursday, I just time block something on Tuesday from 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM as a placeholder meeting on my calendar. When I go to sit down on the Friday, so the day after I meet with Guillermo, I’m going to take a look at what’s on my calendar for the following week. I’ll see that I have that placeholder meeting Tuesday from nine to 10. That’s going to remind me, “Oh, right, I need to get back to Guillermo on a definitive date and time to meet with that team member.

This isn’t leaving it to chance. Some people will say, “Oh, I have a phenomenal memory. I don’t need to write it down,” Or, “I don’t need to have a system.” Your memory isn’t that great. Things are going to get past you. I take a lot of pride in things rarely get past me because of the time blocking or just simply emailing myself. This ensures that I’m always able to respond back to people when I say I’m going to, and it’s been extremely valuable for me, largely because people know that I am going to do things when I say I’m going to do it. And for any individual, regardless of how experienced you might be, but, in particular, for individuals that are just starting out their careers, one of the best things that you can do is give the person you report into peace of mind, and they will open their wallets for you to ensure that you are properly compensated because they don’t want you to leave because you give them that peace of mind and they equate a lot of money to that peace of mind.

So that is a short message for today’s episode. Thank you so much for listening. If there are any topics that you want me to talk about, please email me directly, find me on Instagram and DM me, or whichever way you want to communicate with me and share a topic that you would like me to create a podcast about. Thank you all so much. Visit michel Jump on my email list where I email my list every single week with the latest podcast. So thank you, take care, and I will see you on the next episode.





Michel travels the world speaking at annual conferences and company events. His speaking topics are focused on customer experience, employee engagement and company culture. To have him speak at your event, contact him directly.