Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Follow-up List

The Follow-up List is a generic device which is derived from my little Access table of contacts.

Each contact record has a date field “follow-up”, in which is recorded the date on which I must next contact an individual. Typically: a day later to check that they have received the email, a week later to discuss their feelings about the email, or the day after they return from vacation (the day they return is no good, they are too busy wading through voice-mail and email)

I usually process the list on the screen, based on a screen report that shows the few individuals on my follow-up list for today. This list may include left-overs from yesterday.

I record the number of individuals on the list at the start of the day and at the end of the day.

My objective is to empty the list each day. If several days pass without the list being emptied, then I’m doing something wrong. As Winston Churchill would note “Action This Day”.

An easy solution to this problem is to print out a report on paper, and use that as a solid, tangible work sheet. Having it on the desk, staring me in the face, and crossing items out with a pencil as they are covered, is a great way to stay focused.

Today I am heading downtown for two meetings. I will arrive early, and I will have some dead time between meetings.

My Access database allows me to print a hard-copy report which I will take with me.

The dead time before meetings can be occupied by making some follow-up calls on my cell phone.

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