Thinking about responsibilities: glass, metal, or rubber?

| productivity

Tim Sanders has an insightful post on thinking of tasks as either glass, metal, or rubber. From his blog post:

  • If I drop an action item made of glass, something gets broken. It has a guaranteed negative outcome not to do it.
  • If I drop and action item made of metal, nothing gets broken — but there will be plenty of noise and maybe even a dent claimed.
  • If I drop an action item made of rubber, it will will probably bounce either back to the tasker or to the right person. This is probabaly an action item that is either silly or not my role.

Mondays are the best days to deal with “glass” things, he says, and people should minimize the number of glass things they're juggling at a time.

Come to think of it, my life is like that. It's not just a matter of
keeping all of the balls in the air, satisfying all the
responsibilities – there's never going to be enough time for that! I
have to think about which responsibilities I don't really need to take
on, things that can bounce to someone else…

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