Well here we are, a month into the new year. And in the vein of “everything old is new again”, this new year has brought a renewed emphasis on improvement. Basically, there is much more to keep track of than I can keep in my head. So, I chose to focus on “sharpening the saw” by improving my ability to process and prioritize personal and professional work demands. I’m hoping that my journey can be a benefit to you too.

A little over decade ago, I had the great opportunity to work with the All-Star team at Oceaneering. To everybody’s benefit, Oceaneering leadership was committed to training employees (thank you!). So, to help me prioritize demands on my time, I revisited some valuable training that I got at Oceaneering called “GTD” or “Getting Things Done” by David Allen.

A book is difficult to decompose into smaller chunks quickly, so I sought a set of helpful documents from GTD’s website that was somewhere between a checklist and the book itself.

How I ended up purchasing these documents is a testament to how the GTD method works. The GTD website was difficult to use, particularly the shopping cart. I wasn’t able to buy what I wanted in the checkout, so I contacted GTD via their customer service email address, expecting the worst (as a general rule, I rarely get results by emailing customer service). I felt that this was going to be a black hole.

But I was very pleasantly surprised. I emailed them at 5 am and by 9 am, I had received a message from GTD asking what it was that I needed help with. My response was quick and short: “I need to get to done as fast possible; I want to buy something from you”.

GTD responded back requesting a list of what I needed, stating that they would find a simple way to get it to me. I cut and paste the list from their cart into my reply back. Within an hour, I had received back an email that contained the electronic versions of the documents that I wanted, along with an electronic invoice (which was payable online). EASY! That was fantastic. And contrary to my typical customer service experience.

What’s all this have to do with you? First, if you want to get more control of your day, I highly recommend the GTD method. Second, this experience reminded that it’s all about your customers and how you service them. Whether they’re internal or external. Whether they’re personal (family, friends) or professional. Always ask: “what do you need and how else can I help you”. My experience with GTD today is a great example of how it should be done. Now, if I can only be that good, then all will be right in my world!

So … what do you need and how can we help you?