CONNECTIONS: Professional Services Customer Service – mini mindset challenge # 03


Welcome to the online part of the CONNECTIONS: Professional Services Customer Service program!

These challenges are simply for your own personal reflection.  “Food for thought” if you will … with the intention of strengthening your self-awareness and boosting the amount of time spent in the “growth” mindset.

I wish you well and look forward to hearing your comments, improvement suggestions and queries.

Tracey McGrath


What are you doing TODAY to achieve your goals?

If we say something is important to us, then we need to consider what we are DOING to bring that goal to fruition.  It is all too easy to say we value something and yet not take action to ensure that it occurs.  Professional Services Customer Service relates to providing excellence in both what we deliver and the way we deliver it.  Keeping these two facets of excellence in front of mind isn’t sufficient.  We need to look at what we are DOING to bring about success in these areas.

In his book, “The Slight Edge”, Jeff Olson identifies small daily disciplines (habits) as “the slight edge” and how they are working right now – either for us or against us.  It all depends on whether our habits are helpful or unhelpful.  He sees success or failure as being built from these myriad of tiny actions.  So… are our daily habits aimed at fostering excellence?

Brian Tracey wrote in his international bestseller,“Eat That Frog: Get more of the important things done today” that “the ability to concentrate single-mindedly on your most important task, to do it well and to finish it completely, is the key to success, achievement, respect, status, and happiness in life.”

During the one-day program we discussed the 4DA effectiveness method (DA standing for daily activity).


1. Know your objective Prior to doing anything, take a few seconds to identify your objective.
How often you undertake actions without a clear purpose in mind?
2. Do the
MOST IMPORTANT thing first
The value of doing the Most Important thing first is that it takes a lot of pressure off the day.  It’s tempting to do the easy things thinking that we are clearing space to do the difficult one; however in truth what happens is the easy things fill our day and the stress of not doing the important thing lurks in the background getting more and more acute. The end result is that frequently we’ve worked all day and not tackled the critical tasks.
3. Do to completion! No matter what you are doing – do it to completion!  This is how we get a sense of achievement.  If it’s a large task then break it into chunks, then do one of those chunks to completion.  This includes those final tidying activities such as filing the documents, collating notes, or clearing our desk – whatever it takes to feel that the task is properly completed.  Don’t just finish the task and push whatever detritus is left to one side since it won’t give you a sense of completion.  In addition, you will only have to tidy it up later which will cost you further time as you have to review what is and isn’t significant.  Get it done completely while it’s all fresh in your mind.
4. Focus/allocate time Allocate time to complete the task.  Which might mean setting a deadline. Then give it your fullest attention.  Resist distractions.  If you find your attention wandering, bring it back.  You can have a break when you’re done.  If the phone rings and you have to take a message, take the message and (unless its priority exceeds this one) then get back to your task.


The growth mindset sees effort as the pathway to mastery and many effectiveness experts view daily effort as being critical to success.

So how effective are you?

Please take five minutes to reflect on your daily habits:

  • Do you identify your most important activity at the beginning of the day (even better at the end of the previous day)?
  • How often do you have the discipline to complete the most important activity first?
  • When you do identify a most important activity, do you clearly identify why it is important?
  • Do you allocate a specific amount of time to achieving/completing it?
  • Do you set a specific deadline time (i.e. 11:20 AM) for completing this task (ideally before noon)?
  • Are you clear about what is the action that – once taken – tells you that the task is complete? (i.e. the report has been emailed)


Following on from this five-minute reflection, what one change – if you made it – would dramatically increase your effectiveness?


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