Take Care of Business

Pay Attention, Plot and Perform: the three P’s to Take Care of Small Tasks

Portrait of a young woman working on laptop at home with coffee

If you are like me, you groan inwardly when you see a change in the TOS (terms of service) from the companies you deal with. If you are also like me, you flag the messages, intending to read them as soon as you get a few minutes to concentrate. Now for the confession point. I always mean to read the messages, but the truth is, I don’t always do it. When that happens, I miss key information that I wish I hadn’t ignored.


Recently, I got such a notice from Venmo regarding an important change in how they will handle disputes. Just tonight, I saw a warning from another helpful person about PayPal’s guarantee for purchases to resell, among other items.

Slogging through the legalese and wordy explanations of TOS, privacy agreements and all the other words-that-are-written-with-the-most—mind-numbing-and-boring-descriptions-possible is not a highlight of my day. I might possibly prefer to scrub toilets which is not a highlight of my day, either.

Nevertheless, it is in my best interests to pay attention to these matters; otherwise, I relinquish my right to make an informed decision.

Now, I know I am not alone. Many of you identify with these feelings and have missed a few important notices, as well. We are in this together so I have a couple of hints that might help. Unfortunately, I have not found a way around reading, but perhaps the hints will provide a little help to ensure that you don’t negligently pass over important email. They are the three P’s, Plan, Plot and Perform.

Pay Attention: As you skim through email and see the dreaded, “Change to Terms of Service” email, do not just scroll past. Instead, flag the email and force yourself to open it. You may not have time to read it carefully but skim it briefly and look for dates.

Plot: Note pertinent dates and what is required. Do you respond to the email? Fill out a form and send it? Cancel the subscription or close the account? Record these dates in a planner, on a calendar or wherever you keep track of such things.

We all work in different ways, so no judgement, except to say that waiting until the very last minute, could cause you lose out.

Perform: Get it done. If you plan to accomplish the task on a certain day, do it. Remember, if you schedule it early enough, an unavoidable delay will not throw you off-track.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to find a way around these inconvenient, little jobs? Since it isn’t possible for most of us, apply simple strategies and organize details of life that often escape us. Remove procrastination and replace it with the three P’s, Pay Attention, Plot and Perform.

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