Following my thoughts on the basket, I had to share a real life example of my basket in action. As I was contemplating what a fellow co-worker e-mailed me about feeling under-appreciated because of not getting a reply to something he submitted to the boss, I thought about my new approach to dealing with those things that used to really rattle me and I replied (edited for privacy):
If you feel strongly about needing a pat on the back or confirmation or feedback you should speak up. I do know how you feel as I used to get really annoyed by similar things. Just remember you should be the one that you are trying to please.
If you know at the end of the day that you gave it your best and you accomplished things that is really what matters. If you know at the end of the day that you slacked off or could have handled things differently then you take a moment to figure it out (don’t dwell) and make a plan to do it different the next day/time. That’s the way I handle it now.
I have too much to do and too little time lately and I had to figure out what I was doing that was wasting my time and cut some things out of my routine. One of those things was worrying what people say so much. I do my best and I stick up for my people. I do my best to delegate and let it go where I can. I do my best to hold people accountable and don’t rescue them anymore.
I also don’t take on things that aren’t mine to do unless I see them fitting into my own personal development plan. When I do get wrangled into things that wouldn’t normally be credited to me (by those more powerful than me) I make sure that I shout if from the rooftops and that the credit is documented where appropriate. After all, there’s always room to learn something new.
My attempt at some measure of content (calm) boils down to: Things that are not in my basket aren’t mine to worry about until someone more powerful than me (my boss or his boss) puts them in my basket and if I’m taking care of my basket properly I have no reason not to hold my head up.