Monday, January 20, 2014

Taking the time to read

Seth Godin nails it about taking time to actually read:

It is AMAZING to me the number of people that don't read email.  The conversation I get normally goes like this:

"Hey, did you read my email? I need an answer about X."

"No man, I didn't have time. It was too long."

Even more amazing is the number of people that don't read papers that are routed to them.

It would seem everyone is in such a hurry because of all the work that needs to be done that there simply isn't enough time to read.  Except that when I walk around, I see people updating Facebook, chatting about sports or their latest shopping trip, or in general not working balls to the wall.

I refuse to believe that you don't have time to read email, or papers, or whatever comes across your desk.  While I do believe that if you send your boss a long email you should put a Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF) line at the top so that he or she can get the gist, most of my emails are one paragraph.  Telling me you can't read it because you are so busy really tells me you don't care, that my issue is less important than you updating your Facebook status.

I read every piece of paper that comes across my desk.  The great thing about this is that over time I get better and better at reviewing.  I'm able to work through a stack of routine papers in only fifteen minutes because I have learned what good and bad paperwork looks like.  Besides, if I'm going to sign my name on it, I should at least go through it to make sure it doesn't come back to bite me.

By no means am I perfect, but the only way to get better at reviewing paperwork and working through email taskers is to actually read them.  If you're one of those folks that says you're too busy, stop lying to the rest of us and simply admit you are lazy and not prioritizing those that took the time to do the research and send you a well written email.