I am an obsessive list-maker. Every Thursday when I return to the showroom after my “weekend,” I go over my calendar, orders, and emails and create a bullet-pointed list of all the things I need to accomplish that week. Using my master list, I then create a series of smaller, daily lists, which I carry around on little slips of paper — checking off bullet points as I go. Occasionally, I find one of my lists dangling from a clip on the break room refrigerator. I know it’s shameful, and I’m sure there are more efficient ways stay organized than cramming my pockets full of post-its, but this works for me.
At Room & Board, we’re allowed to develop our own strategies for managing our workload and assisting our customers. In many ways, it’s as if each member of our team is running his or her own business. Everybody works a little differently here: some people take projects home where they can spend uninterrupted time on them, while others function better in a faster-paced, multi-tasking environment; some of us keep track of orders with detailed, color-coordinated calendars, and some us simply run a delivery report once a week. Regardless of which method we embrace, each of us is empowered to take ownership of our careers. While it can be intimidating at first, that kind of autonomy allows us to approach our work with confidence and authenticity.
I am constantly evolving in this multifaceted job. Everyday I am building upon the knowledge I gained the day before, and gaining insight into how my contribution can best fit into the whole. To use a totally cheesy analogy, we’re sort of like an orchestra: each of us plays a different instrument, but we’re all playing the same song. Slowly, I am picking out my own rhythm amid all the rustling of paper.