Two of things I enjoyed about Patrick Lecioni’s ‘Death by Meeting‘ book was the style and the categories. 75% of it is a story (or fable as he calls it) and 25% theory and frameworks. Recently, my wife bought be Charles Dowding’s calendar of sowing dates. It could have been a bullet point list on a sheet of paper, but it’s in calendar form to hang up. And the seeds are split into different categories too. It’s physical, visual, something to see and it’s easy to take in the information.
Last week, I was talking with friends about to-do lists and how they never are completed. Mine is scribbled on paper, often across a few pages. Sometimes I have multiple to-do lists in various places. In addition, I have reminders on my phone to do things. I tend not to categorise things and then cherry pick the easy tasks, before settling into ‘big’ or time consuming tasks.
What the book and the calendar do well is help us ‘see’ different categories. They remind us not to treat everything the same because that doesn’t work. A project update meeting is different than a strategy planning session. Some vegetables are fine with frost, others not so much.
And they remind us to think about how we present information. Lecioni wrote a fable, Dowding used an actual calendar. Simple, clever, and much more memorable.
What about us? Whether is it our to-do lists or how we talk about the change we seek to create, do we categorise? How are we making it memorable? Are we creating space for tasks and discussions that require a different part of our brain?
This is extra hard in our distracted world. Do it anyway.