Dec. 6, 2021

#5: Get work done by engaging others' tigers


This show is especially meant for you if you need to get a critical task done and are finding it nearly impossible to complete it—especially when the cause is a small Administrative Tiger. That is when you don’t have much of a natural tendency to organize and complete work.

Sometimes your motivation, discipline, and grit, just aren’t enough to overcome the inertia of not completing an essential assignment or activity. Don’t despair!

In this episode, I share a technique that will come to your rescue: engaging someone else’s tigers (talents) to help get you organized. It sounds deceptively simple, however, if you don’t engage the right type of person and enroll them in the right way, there are chances you’ll wind up blowing it and winding up worse off than before.

In addition to providing with a surefire process, I also share:

  • why this method works
  • the main caveats that can mess things up 
  • a touching success story of one of my clients who used this technique

If you’ve got a huge task or job that needs to get done and is could create huge problems for you if it doesn’t get done soon, you will find this approach to accomplishing your goal a lifesaver. It’s one that I have relied on more than once!

After you’ve listened to the episode, give this technique a try—and let me know how you make out. I’d love to hear about it and how it’s affected your life.

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Transcript

I've got a question for you. Have you ever been stuck getting something important done? Something that's essential to complete, and you just keep putting it off. You know that if you got it done, you'd feel hugely relieved. But you feel so unorganized that you don't even know where to start. And there are all kinds of techniques out there that aim to help you get more organized, as well as productivity tools to get the task done. And sometimes even those fail you, leaving you incredibly frustrated. Maybe you're even facing this type of situation now. In today's episode, I'm going to share with you a method of getting organized and getting a job done when nothing else is working. It consists of getting the right person to help you get your ducks in a row, so you can get that critically important work done. It sounds simple? Well, it is as long as you follow a few important steps and avoid a couple of landmines that could lead you even worse off than before. My promise in today's episode is that once you learn this technique, you will have a secret weapon to deploy whenever there's something urgent that you need to get done. And your organizational abilities are too overwhelmed to do it. 

I'm Steven Rudolph. And this is the Feed Your Tigers podcast, where I aim to help you align your talents with what you do. So you thrive. 

This topic is such an important one because there's a pretty high chance that you're struggling with getting organized right now. In case this is not you, I'm going to ask you to listen on because it'll help you understand the majority of people who are challenged in this area. It will greatly improve your compassion, reduce judgment, reduce conflicts in your relationships with people of this type who are like me. And if you're like me, you've always faced difficulties in getting things done. I mean, it could be important documents or filing papers or getting that presentation done on time. And even things like just managing yourself--showing up for appointments or, you know, forgetting to show up for a Zoom session. Have you ever done that one? Yeah. So if that sounds like you, I've got some really powerful stuff in store for you today. 

So let's break it down. And let's see what this looks like when it happens, right? It usually starts something like this--a task comes along. And it's a big one, pretty complex, something that's going to take some effort, and it feels like a mountain, you know that it has to be done. But somehow you just managed to avoid it, you get busy and other stuff and it kind of lurks in the corner, like some some sort of, you know, large task monster, and you pretend it's not there. I call this the great avoidance. And you have every intention to get it done, you make a resolution to do it, I'm going to do it first thing in the morning, or I'm going to do it on Monday, or I'll save it for the weekend. And somehow you just never get to it. You muster up some energy again, and then you sit down or you get up whatever it is that it's going to take to get it done. 

And you say to yourself, well, you know what, first, I'm going to do this, to get myself in the mood or to get ready to do it. That could be to eat something to drink something or maybe read the news first. Have a cigarette. And the next thing you know, you're watching someone's cat get rescued from an air conditioning vent. No matter what you do, you just find it impossible to start. And it starts to loom after a while. The real world implication of not doing it starts to increase. You start to realize that you know if I don't get that tax return in or if I don't file for my new passport, you know, I could wind up not going on vacation or if I don't finish that presentation. Hmm, you know, I could get in deep trouble with my team or my boss or maybe even get fired, the anxiety starts to mount and now you can't ignore it. Finally, that monster reveals itself and angry faces and common starts to show up because you're not getting it done. Or possibly threatening emails or letters, even with penalties, show up. Now you have to confront it. I mean that you really have to confront it. And again, you charge yourself up, you set yourself up to do it. And then

He was one man with one task and one desire. I've got to get it done. But he just couldn't do it. Look out, here it comes. The Great avoidance part two, already showing in your home theater. 

You start to do everything else in the world, cleaning your desktop, cleaning your office, cleaning your bedroom, organizing your Tupperware, going through old emails, editing not important photographs, you come back to it again, you might even make some kind of system or or buy some expensive productivity software to help you get it done. But you still don't do it. And now the impact starts, people getting frustrated people getting angry, disappointed, impacts on your relationship, costs you money, penalties, the loss of a job. So what is it about this? Why does this happen? There's many ways to explain this. Some people say, Oh, I'm just a procrastinator, I'm lazy. I'm unorganized. And when you say these kinds of things, it just makes it worse, and it kills your self esteem.  

Well, to make you feel better, there's some research that shows 90% of the population lacks managerial ability, only one in 10 habit, and that only two more out of 10 people could be trained to be really powerful implementers. And so it's possible that 70% or more of the population lacks critical organizing abilities. So let's do one thing, let's drop the guilt, let's drop the shame. Let's drop the labels. This has everything to do with your natural way of being, with your tigers. And specifically, I mean your administrative Tiger.  

Now, in my podcasts, you'll hear me referring to tigers, these relate to your 19 talents, your innate abilities, natural tendencies, if you would like to explore all of them in detail, go to the show notes, and you'll find a link for the 19 Tigers. So it's there in the show notes. And that will bring you to a page full of details on each tiger with descriptions and examples and more.  

But in today's episode, I'm going to be talking extensively about the administrative Tiger. So what is an administrative Tiger? People with large administrative Tigers have a natural tendency to get things done. They make task lists, to-do lists, they can delegate responsibilities, they can even keep track of other people's tasks, forget about their own, they typically are never late, never miss deadlines or appointments, you would know if your administrative Tiger was big, if somebody gives you a project and you get excited and you start making all the plans and start executing on them. And you get energy from just doing the administrative part of things. So that's a natural tendency and natural ability. It's what I call an administrative Tiger. So if you have a large administrative Tiger, when any type of task comes, it actually gives you energy. And so you don't really have to worry about not getting things done. But what if your administrative Tiger is not a big one? What do you do?  

Well, when you have a critical task, something large, something essential, and it's not getting done, first thing to do is relax. What? Relax? I should be freaking out right now. Okay, there's a way to get this done. And we're going to get into that shortly. But I don't want you to panic. The second thing is that I want you to recognize there's nothing wrong with you, knew that you are in the majority of people who just might not be strong in that particular area, have some compassion on yourself. What it means is that you're going to have to rely on special techniques to get it done. And the technique we'll look at is how to engage other people's tigers to get the job done. And this deals with finding someone who has an enormous administrative Tiger and getting them to help you. Now it might sound simple, but there are a couple of key things that you need to pay attention to otherwise, this method is not going to work. Okay, so how do you engage someone else's tiger to help you get something done?

The first thing you need to do is identify what the task, is what it is that you need to get done, to think through, what has to be accomplished in as much detail as possible. You don't have to worry about doing it at this stage. The second thing is I want you to think about if you don't get it done, what are the implications? Sit with that. Who's going to be affected by that? You? Your colleagues, maybe a spouse, your children? And after that, I'd like you to think about the opposite. If you do get it done, what are the implications? By understanding what happens when it gets done, how you'll feel, what your life will look like, what things will be like, it's going to set you up toward the direction that you need to be heading in, and what it is that you have to achieve. And now the most important part, finding someone you can engage in getting you organized. 

And you need to be careful that the person who you choose has a huge administrative Tiger. And for this, you'll need to look for the evidence, don't just pick any old person, make sure the person you're choosing has clearly demonstrated to you that they have this incredible capacity for organizing things, making task lists, to-do lists, delegating responsibilities and getting work done in their professional life in their home life. And it should be obviously somebody who's close to you who's going to agree, but make sure the most important thing is that they've got the large administrative tiger. 

The next is you're going to need to enroll them, you have to get them invested in helping you solve this particular problem. And you're not going to send them a text or write them an email, you're going to speak to them in person, either go out for coffee, or call them on the phone or anything face to face could be a Zoom. They need to be invested in this and sending those messages or just writing, it just might not be enough to get them started. So that's why I say take that little bit of extra time just to speak with them in person.

So then explain to them what the task is, what goes into it, what is going to need to be done, then tell them how it's affecting you. That could be emotionally, it could be financially, it could be with your relationships. And it's at this point, you should mention something about tigers, talk Tigers with them. Explain to them that why among all the people you know that they're the person you're coming to. And the reason is that their administrative Tiger is the huge one. And yours is a small one. Now, ask for what you need. Be clear about the time, the scope, when it needs to be done, where it needs to be done. But don't talk about compensation yet, you might be tempted to jump in and to talk about compensation, just wait for that, let them process it, then watch the reaction and watch what the administrative tiger does. Chances are, they will agree right there on the spot, even without any incentive, because they're organizing things is the payoff. Once they agree, you can talk about compensation, this is not the driver, and don't go overboard.

So here's what's going to happen. They'll come on board, they will join you, perhaps they need to come to your house, or maybe they get online with you or go to your office, whatever it might be. They're going to do a survey, the last few lots of questions, they're going to identify the outcomes, the results that you want to achieve in specifics, they're going to start with the end in mind, because their administrative Tigers work like that. The next is they'll make a strategy step by step of what needs to be done. And then they're going to start to prioritize things, what needs to get done first, and then second, and then third. At this point, they're going to help you to get things done, they're going to act on this plan. And they're going to begin to push you in an orderly fashion. And as you go through and you start to do these things, they're not going to let you get sidetracked because they see the line between where you are now. And the end goal, what it looks like when this task is finished, and they are locked into this channel. You might not be because your small Tiger won't necessarily do that. And as they guide you, you will see that this task magically is getting done, coming together bit by bit, piece by piece. To them it's normal. It's what comes natural to them. It's what a big tiger that's administrative does. It's their tiger that's doing this thing. And this will seem absolutely mystical to you while this process is going on. 

And before you know it, the task will be completed. Now, here's why this works. Number one, all tigers love to eat. And when I say eat and I talk about tigers, I mean eat activities. For example, if you have a large creative tiger that eats creative tasks, a creative Tiger would eat up activities like brainstorming for example. If you've got a big musical tiger that would eat up something like playing music or performing this in Some sort of a musical activity. And again, if you want to know about all 19, tigers, check out the show notes because there's a link to the 19 Tigers that describes them all. So these tigers can't stop themselves from eating. And in this case, the administrative Tiger cannot help itself, cannot stop itself from administrating. People with big ones do this naturally, it fills them, it fulfills them, it satisfies their appetites. So when you put this request in front of someone who has a huge administrative Tiger, that tiger gets turned on. 

And what happens in their brain is that there's a neurotransmitter called dopamine that gets released. This is the chemical that that releases itself in the brain, anytime you anticipate something that will be pleasurable. And you know, for example, if if you're happy to get text messages from a particular person, or particular friend or a call from them, when you see their name pop up, in an on that message or on the call, suddenly, you had that you get that pleasurable feeling of how nice it's going to be when you speak to them. And so it's the same sort of thing. Their Tiger is pre-wired, to feel excited and to feel pleasure, just when they think about doing an activity that gets them to organize stuff. It's kind of like the Cookie Monster if you remember from Sesame Street, and anytime Cookie Monster would hear the word cookie, he'd be like a cookie, am am am am am. And so that's what's going on in the mind of the person who you're showing it to if they've got a huge administrative Tiger. Now, most people you know, probably have enough self-control that they're not going to just unleash, like the Cookie Monster, and start saying, Oh, my God administration, am am am am.

It'll, it'll happen in their mind and their eyes might widen, or their pupils might dilate or their body language might shift, you'll see it, they will, they will open up. And at this point, they're not even thinking about money. Although you might be because to you, this task is not pleasurable, it is distasteful, it is painful, it's like it's going to take a huge effort to get it done, it's going to take a lot of time to get it done. And so for you, it's like climbing a mountain. And when you're asking someone's help on this, you're feeling like they're going to feel the same thing as you are. And that's why you you start, you might start to think about how can I compensate them. So don't do that. Recognize that by offering them this opportunity, their administrative Tiger is going to be fed. So just keep in mind, it's easy for them, they will enjoy it, they will get pleasure out of it. That's why I don't want you to think about compensation first, it's not as important to them, it will be a token. 

I mean, of course, this doesn't mean that you should take advantage of them, that you should ask their assistants to to get it done and not think about how you're going to return the favor. Of course you can and of course you will. You could take them out to dinner, or maybe trade services with them. If there's something that you have that you could a different tiger that you've got, that might be a value to them somewhere else, then you might even consider that, it could be money as well. But again, that's not the most important point. 

Now, here's some caveats I want you to keep in mind, just some things to watch out for. The first is that when you choose someone to assist you, as I mentioned before, it's got to be somebody with a huge administrative Tiger, not just a friend, not someone who owes you a favor. But someone with a big administrative Tiger, who naturally gets things done. And I want you to be careful of a particular mistake people make. There's another tiger which is called a providing Tiger. That is a tendency, people with a tendency to want to help, assist, to serve other people, when they need something that these are the people who step up to help. And it's not exactly the same, because somebody could have a really strong providing Tiger, providing nature, and they will love to help you. But they might not have the administrative tiger that you need. So even though they might want to help you and they might try to help you, the lack of the administrative Tiger is going to let you down. So watch out for that. Make sure that it's the administrative tiger that they have first. Now of course, if someone's got a big administrative Tiger, and a big providing Tiger hoo ha, look out. That person is not only going to help get you organized, but they'll probably help you get it done as well. In some cases they might even do it for you. So just keep that in mind, because this is a big mistake I see people make all the time. 

The second thing I want you to watch out for is that you can't do this all the time. This should really be like the in case of emergency break glass approach. 

So I would like to share a small story with you that I feel exemplifies this idea  perfectly. And it's about a client of mine, let's call her Maya, who was in a challenging situation. Maya is a designer and an artist. And right out of college, she developed a wonderful freelancing practice for herself. Eventually, she fell in love and got married, and had two children with her husband. And they decided that she would take care of the children and continue her work on the side while her husband went out and worked in a job that was not far from where they lived. And with a small administrative Tiger, she found it challenging over the years to take care of the family, take care of the children do all of the household tasks, shopping, and so on and so forth. And also to do her artwork on the side. And eventually, she started to feel starved. These creative and visual Tigers became really hungry. And it for years, was plaguing her and she wanted to get back to her artwork. 

Well, eventually, the kids were finally old enough to get back to school. And just when she thought she was going to have that opportunity to get back into her creative pursuits, her father had a stroke, and she had to spend a great deal of time to take care of him. All of her creative and visual activities again, had to be put on the back burner. After about two years, her father passed away, and it was need for her a very sorrowful time. But she found a little bit of comfort in the fact that she might be able to get back into her design work again. But all of her design materials were packed up in boxes, computers, technologies, etc. all needed to be set up and connected. And she kept promising herself to get it done to get it set up. But with that small administrative Tiger, it just never happened. She was so out of touch with her creative and visual Tigers so estranged from them, she forgot what it was like to immerse herself in spreading oils across the canvas or creating illustrations for clients that delighted them and gave her such satisfaction to the point where it was just a distant glimmer in the corner of her mind. But what fills her mind instead? 

Well, questions of her own self esteem, she started to doubt her own abilities. Now she was in her late 40s. And she wondered if she still had it, or even if she ever really did have it. She felt this sense of purposelessness, and question to herself, did she even matter? It spilled into her relationship with her husband. And she began to get short tempered even at very small things. And issues with intimacy began to crop up. They went to couples therapy, but to no avail. Things became so terrible that she was even contemplating getting a divorce. 

At that time, she got in touch with me about this situation in general. And in our discussions, she traced things back to two of her hungry tigers, the creative and visual, she began to remember her own competence and her love for her artwork and how she felt when those Tigers were being fed, she could finally see how essential it was to her life and to her relationship with her husband and well-being to get those Tigers fed. So she vowed to take action to get the boxes unpacked and to get the studio set up. And she committed to getting things in order. And in doing so, she even started a popular productivity program to get things accomplished. So weeks went by, and we spoke again. But she not made any progress since the last time we spoke. And nothing changed with respect to the relationship issues she was having with her husband. The cost of her for not completing this task was huge. The problems of her own self-worth, her relationship with her husband, her health and well-being. It was like there was this massive wall. All those materials packed up in boxes, and she just couldn't get it done. And when she contemplated getting everything unpacked and set up, it just left her feeling overwhelmed. That small administrative Tiger didn't have the where with all to get it accomplished. And it was clear that if she could just get through this, she could just get this stuff set up, that things would surely change. But even that realization wasn't enough to get her into action.

After analyzing the situation, I spoke with Maya again. And she agreed to a solution to engage someone with a huge administrative Tiger, who would help her. She immediately thought of a girlfriend who would be ideal for this role. It was a woman who was retired but very active, and had an enormous administrative Tiger, someone who never missed an email or an appointment and always followed up on things. But even just to ask her to help my with this seemed like an impossible task that she would be imposing, and that her friend might say no, she started to feel guilty about it. And I encouraged her to just call her, I said, Look, what's the worst that can happen? She says no. So she contacted her friend. And to her surprise, her friend was so eager to help her. 

We decided on the strategy that she would get the kids out of the house for half the day, and she would get her friend in. And one Saturday morning, her friend came over and boom, just started getting things done. She surveyed the situation, identified what the outcomes would be, created a strategy, which things would be done first, second, third, and so on. And they began the task immediately getting everything out of the boxes, lined up on the floor, and organized one thing at a time. And this process was really painful for Maya, because with each box that she opened, she just wanted to get into things, they started to bring up memories and started to trigger some of her creative thoughts. But her friend kept her on track, and kept her following the steps. 

And Maya was in awe, because to her doing this task alone would have been like pulling teeth, it would have taken her days, or even weeks. And at the end of the session, her studio was almost fully set up. The remaining work was now easy for Maya to complete on her own just in a couple of days. She compensated her friend by taking her out to lunch. And that was more than enough compensation. After Maya got things up and running, things began to change. She started painting, she was able to take up some assignments from clients who'd been after her for years. Her stress began to reduce, she became enthusiastic, or mood changed completely. And even more than that, her relationship began to change with her husband. There were fewer fights, the intimacy began to return. And her life began to blossom again, she began experiencing new levels of self worth, self esteem, and creativity. 

And all of this made possible by engaging someone's administrative Tiger for half a day. So now, I want to ask you, what's that task that's troubling you right now, that one piece of work, which because it's not getting done, is creating all sorts of problems with you. And also, will be creating larger problems for you down the road if you don't get it done. And I want you to think about who it is, in your life, who's got a big, a huge, monstrous administrative Tiger, who could be the person to help you get it done. 

So let's sum it up for today. Everyone has an administrative Tiger, though, most people don't have big ones. Having a small or even medium administrative Tiger could be inhibiting you from getting important work done. And there are many techniques and tools out there to help you do so. But if you've got something critical that's not getting done, and that's severely affecting you recroute someone else's administrative tiger to get the job done, identify that person, enroll them, engage their administrative Tiger, and go through the steps so you can get that work complete and you can get on with your life and feed the Tigers that you need to be feeding. And the next time you're stuck, you'll know exactly how to use this technique how to break through that wall of procrastination, the next time it occurs. 

That brings us to the end of our episode. Be sure to check out the show notes for this episode, which contain references to the content of today's program, including all the steps that you need to help engage somebody else's tires. If you haven't done so yet, I encourage you to subscribe to the Feed Your Tigers podcast on Spotify on Apple or Google podcasts so you don't miss any of the future episodes you will get automatically reminded every time a new episode releases. That's all for today. This is Steven Rudolph. And until the next episode, I'll remind you to Feed Your Tigers before they eat you