Recently, someone did something exceedingly generous for me. Not one of those “open the door when you’re limping” favors, but something beyond that. Way beyond that. And, as I lay in bed the night after said favor, my mind was racing with the various types of things I could do to try and thank this person. Just when I’d hit on what I thought might be the thing, my mind got off on another tangent. (It does that, in the wee hours.)

This time, it began cycling through all the people in the last year or so I had forgotten to thank for something. People who had done small things, people who had done big things, and people who had done all manner of things in the middle to help out yours truly.

The next morning, I sat down and made a list of said people. It wasn’t exceedingly long, so Miss Manners wouldn’t be smacking me upside the head anytime soon, but it certainly wasn’t as short as it could be.

And it made me see the importance of automating even something so personal as thanking someone. Now, by “automate” I don’t mean immediately telling a virtual assistant to set up a monthly honey baked ham subscription to everyone in your contact list. Rather, I mean automating the act of remembering who to thank, and what to thank them with.

There’s one simple way to do this and all it takes is a calendar and fifteen minutes. Likely with a hot beverage by your side.

Put “Who Do I Need to Thank?” into your calendar on a quarterly basis. Drink beverage. Draw up list.

Enjoy.

Intentional work is the key to great innovation.

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