Who doesn’t love tacos? There are so many varieties to choose from these days. Shredded beef, fish, and even vegetarian choices. Sadly, not all tacos are worthy of your time. I still shudder at the memory of a bland ground beef and limp lettuce taco … really regret eating that. Now I make smarter choices based on the restaurant’s specialties, reviews, and locale.
My Toastmasters club meets on Tuesdays and a couple weeks ago we needed a speaker to fill the agenda. The theme was … Taco Tuesday. As I prepared for the meeting, I remembered a tried and true approach for creating a speech – using acronyms for your topic points. Below I’ve used T.A.C.O.S. to help you make smarter choices about the way you approach work and personal priorities.
Here’s why everyone needs TACOS:
Time Management. Above and beyond controlling calendar chaos is the need to understand how long it takes to accomplish a task. For example, if it takes 30-minute to get your car cleaned, then you shouldn’t head for the car wash 45 minutes before an appointment that is 20 minutes across town. No tricky algebraic formulas here, just simple addition. Knowing how long it takes to get things done will allow you to better prioritize the demands on your time and see what is (and isn’t) feasible to attempt.
Action. Procrastination is a very real obstacle. It kills dreams and overpowers hope. Thankfully, with awareness and practice, your perpetual pressing of life’s snooze button can be re-programmed. Act now! Review your to-do list, put plans into action, and revel in placing the big red check mark in the done box. Finish that annoying errand (you know the one you’ve put off for the last 3-months?) that has been weighing on your mind. Celebrate your successes and allow that energy to drive you forward.
Consistency. Aim to be consistent. This doesn’t mean that you should do everything the exact same way every time. What fun is that? Consistency, in this instance, is about meeting your deadlines (especially the self-imposed ones), setting expectations, and generating quality work products. Be the leader or co-worker that can be counted on to deliver to their promises. Be honest and fair … always. Own up to your mistakes … every time. Consistency in the right areas differentiates you from the pack.
Options. There’s nothing that frustrates me more than when peers, employees, or students rely on a one-track approach to everything. Exploring options helps you develop a wider array of skills and could open the door to a unique approach or innovative solution to a problem. Offer options, and explain the risks, when planning projects. Try alternate approaches on less critical tasks to discover possibilities and see what works. An approach that fails in one scenario may be a huge success in another. Explore!
Support. Whether you are seeking input on an option, require help completing a task, or simply need a sympathetic ear its important to have a support network. Typical support networks might include mentors, peers, or family. But don’t forget about non-human resources. Books, articles, and even project artifacts (especially those often-ignored lessons-learned artifacts) can offer guidance for consideration. Take a moment to identify the components of your support network. Fill the gaps.
For more information on support options visit my Personal Support Networks: 4 Ways to Assess and Grow post.
Next time you are enjoying your favorite taco, be sure to think about how TACOS can feed your brain (and not just your stomach).
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If you would like to identify your CliftonStrengths talent themes, please feel free to contact me and/or visit the Gallup Strengths Center.