Ways to distingish yourself – #43 Show discipline on small things

When the project is bigger, everyone knows the need for getting things
in the right order. The output is polished and the presentation is
impeccable. The size of the project that you are working on makes a big
difference on how much effort you put into packaging the materials for
the project. It can be a simple status report or an executive summary.
The sad part though is that people expect that you do a “phenomenal”
job when the stakes are high. So, basically, doing a “brilliant” job in
a big project is nothing special. It is part of meeting expectations.

However, think through all the “small” things that you do in your daily
life. It can be as simple as sending an email or leaving a voicemail
for someone. The expectations for such things are set low by people as
most people don’t give it the amount of thought that one should
normally give. I remember a quote from Jim RohnEvery disciplined effort has multiple rewards.” That resonates well especially for these times.

If you want to truly diffentiate yourself, start giving a lot of
“importance” for “small” things that others don’t give enough attention
to. When people’s expectations are low on things you can blow them away
by doing a superior job.

A few simple examples:

1. Sending an email

– Choose the “To” and “Cc” fields
carefully. “To” is if you want the person to take action. Better yet,
don’t copy people un-necessarily and waste their time

– State what exactly you want out of this clearly.

– Include your phone contact details if you want to give multiple options to contact you back

– Think carefully why it’s important for the recipient to read this email and why it’s not a waste of his or her time.

2. Leaving a voicemail

– keep it short. some people tell
stories in voicemails. People may be listening to your voicemail when
they are driving or at an airport. Time is of essence

– Leave your phone number clearly

– Don’t block your phone number when calling another cell phone. If
your number gets registered as “Restricted” or “Private” it won’t help
you, will it?

– Think carefully why it won’t be a waste of the person’s time to listen to your voicemail

There are many more things that we do just to “operate” in our lives. You can make a big difference by treating small things with care and discipline.

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