Often times at a company I’ve been asked “What would you say you do here?” Which leads into this request for me to list the activities I perform on a regular basis. It’s always been a super annoying task, and its so large and amorphous that I don’t really even know how to wrap my head around it. In the past I’ve started with using a spreadsheet and I start to catalogue all the things “I think” I do. Its never been super effective and its never really given the company what they want.
Well, it came up again at my current employer. It wasn’t a rush request just a general thing. Well, since my first time being asked this I’ve really latched on to a “to-do” system. It doesn’t really matter which one for the story, what’s important is that in this role I cover a lot of bases and sometimes I’ll forget what it is I need to do. So I’ve started to schedule reoccurring to-do’s that pop up and tell me “Hey, its time to run this report.” Well, over the course of the last year I’ve used it more and more. It occurred to me today, as I was adding a new thing to my list, that I could take the list of reoccurring tasks and it would be a large chunk of that “task list” that work is usually wanting me to do. Additionally, since its a repetitive thing, I’ve started to keep documentation on “How I do it.” But the documentation isn’t so much about documenting it for others, its really about defining the process so that I can hopefully automate it later.
With this mental model in place, I can see myself going even deeper down this rabbit hole to further identify activities, and hopefully unburden my brain with having to remember all of these little things.