Have you ever read “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie”? It’s a children’s book that encapsulates my To-Do list. The plot deals with a boy who gives his new buddy a cookie and the mouse politely thanks him for the gesture. But now, the mouse is thirsty and wishes for a glass of milk. And of course, the boy delivers a nice cold glass of milk to the mouse.
This starts simply enough, but the mouse keeps getting distracted and is constantly moving on to other projects, leaving unfinished ones behind. In the end, this leads back around to the mouse wanting another cookie and the boy being so exhausted that he falls asleep on his desk.
That’s my project list in a nutshell. I need to write an article but the article can’t be done without research. I need to get permission from the analysts to use their forecasts. They direct me to the legal gurus to ensure I cite things properly. I add the research to the article and, alas, the content begs for some zippy images to keep the reader somewhat interested. I dig around and find colorful graphs and bar charts and snappy captions. Those must be approved by the graph creators who must convert the graphs into appropriate files that our printer can accept so my zippy images won’t look pixelated and blurry.
But, in the middle of emailing the marketing communications folks asking for different image files, I get distracted by some other colorful graphics or newly released forecasts that seem even better than the first ones I found. In those moments, my task list seems to overtake me. I feel like I’m making no head way at all! Goodness!!!
Many of my colleagues may need a nap after being around my easily distracted, mouse-like approach to getting things done. And some may even wonder how I get anything done at all.
That’s okay. For me, being easily distracted and exhilarated by my role and its possibilities is a good thing. For me, seeing the next thing to accomplish is what keeps me passionate about my job.
Who knows? Maybe I’m more like that frenetic mouse than I want to admit. Or, maybe I could concentrate and get it all done if I just had one more cookie.
Have you experienced this? Tell your fellow readers now!