Jim Collins: Become a Learning Person

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How many times has your to-do list gone unfinished? If you're like most of us, most of your to-do items never see the light of day. If our to-do lists don't work, what does? If you read us, you know we love Jim Collins. One of our favorite insights include this gem on becoming a "to-learn" person instead of a "to-do" person:
Becoming a learning person certainly involves responding to every situation with learning in mind, as Walton did. But it involves more than that; it requires setting explicit learning objectives. Look at your personal list of long-term objectives mid-term objectives, and your current to-do list. How many items fall into the performance genre and how many fall into the learning genre? How many begin with the structure "My objective is to learn X," rather than "My objective is to accomplish Y"? Most people operate off of to-do lists. They're a useful mechanism for getting things done. A true learning person also has a "to-learn" list, and the items on that list carry at least as much weight in how one organizes his or her time as the to-do list.
When I started Trizzy, I knew I wanted to accomplish a lot. (A lot!) Yet, as I tried, I felt fatigued and deflated every time my tasks on the big ol' calendar went undone. It turned out I approached my tasks incorrectly. Instead of determining each week how many things I needed to accomplish, I should've saw the weeks as opportunities to learn new things. As Collins says, instead of a "to-do" list, we need to disrupt the method by transforming it into a "to-learn" list. Paradoxically, when I've done that, I've accomplished much more in the process. Try it for a week, and let us know how it works out for you. We can assure you your life will change dramatically.

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Posted on April 21

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