Want people to trust you’ll do what you say you’ll do? Then do what you say you’ll do. No more broken promises!

If you tell me you will call me at 9:00, call me at 9:00.

If the Zoom meeting starts at 2:00, be on the call at 2:00, not 2:05.

If something comes up, let me know; don’t stand me up.

Things come up; I understand. What I don’t understand is being stood up. Do you feel the same way?

If you say, “I’ll get that information to you by Wednesday,” then get it to me by Wednesday. If Wednesday is a bit of a stretch, don’t make the promise in the first place. Another day or two is often not a bit deal. What is a big deal is being left to wonder if you’ve forgotten (again).

“Well, I get so many emails,” you say. “It’s hard to keep up with it all.”

The whole time, I’m thinking, “Half the emails I send you are asking if you received my original email, or my voicemail, or the message I left with the person at the front desk.” If you want to cut down on much of the noise in those various inboxes, respond the first time.

What’s In It for You?

How important is it for you to be seen as relevant? Do you want other people to ask for your input and value your contribution? Yes, your world moves quickly, and you have much to do. Welcome to the modern world.

But we all have plenty on our plates, and we don’t have time to serve as your personal assistant. We’re tired of coming up with fresh ways to say, “I haven’t heard back from you” and “I’m just cycling this back to the top of your inbox.”

When someone consistently shows me I can’t count on them, I stop putting myself in a position where I need to count on them.

I go around them. I stop asking for their ideas, because I won’t get them anyway. I stop asking for their permission, because it will take longer for the communication to happen than it will to do the whole project. 

Every day, we teach people who we are. We teach others we are responsible, that our word means something, and we can be counted on to come through.

We teach people our time is valuable, and we don’t waste it. We honor others by not wasting their time.

“Want Something Done? Give it to a Busy Person.”

You’ve probably heard that statement, and it embeds a great deal of truth. These people make decisions, respond to communication, and have a knack for moving projects from “Point A” to “Point B,” because other tasks are waiting in line.

Instead of complaining about the volume, they have developed systems to handle the volume.  They ask the clarifying questions on the front end: “When do you need this?” “Which part am I handling and which part are you handling?” “When will you be sending me the rest of the information?”

And with little fanfare, they come through. It’s poetry in motion. People like to involve them in important work. They find themselves involved with work that is interesting and fulfilling.

We teach people how to treat us, and productive people teach others when you involve them, you’ll be glad you did because of the value they add.

It all starts with a very simple principle: Do what you say you’ll do.


Life is too short and time too precious to waste one more day. If you are someone who stumbled upon this site for the first time, let me help you take a major step forward right now. When you join my email list, I’ll give you two free gifts. The first will get your desk clean. The second will put everything you have to do in one place. Plus, each week you’ll hear from me with nuts & bolts tools and strategies to make life easier and more productive. You’re one click away from making it happen