Record, Remind and Report, The 3 R's of Getting Things Done

Logan Harris, Spotter President and founder, shares his three-step formula for team productivity.
May 3, 2024 by
Spotter Global, Jamie Mortensen

I want to share a basic principle with everyone that I hope can help make a difference in people’s lives.

As an 8-year-old boy, I started working on a paper route to earn enough money to buy a few things that I wanted. At that very early age, I learned the importance of making commitments and following through on those commitments.

Over nearly 50 years of working in many different organizations and companies, I have seen and been in a lot of meetings with a lot of talk but many times no action, and that has been frustrating to see all of that wasted time and opportunities.

However, when action did take place it was because three basic behaviors occurred which I like to call the 3 R’s of getting things done; “Record, Remind, and Report.”

To demonstrate what I mean by this, think of a meeting you recently attended where some good ideas for action were discussed. Did anyone write down those ideas? If not, do you think anyone was going to remember those in a week, let alone actually work on them? Without writing down the ideas or task the chance of any action taking place is less than 1%. Recording action ideas provides a crucial foundation for productivity going forward. 

However, more is still needed. 

Suppose the ideas were written down and even assigned to a person but no mechanism was put in place to remind that person assigned to work on those tasks neither was any deadline set for when to report back. What chance do you think those ideas will be completed in a reasonable amount of time? Typically I have seen the probability rise to about 3-5%. An improvement for sure, but not great by any means. 

Next, if a report feedback mechanism which includes date, time and place is also agreed upon and recorded, even with no reminder mechanism set in place, the probability of action rises to 10-15%. In such cases, I’ve seen that action is taken just before the agreed-upon reporting time as the person remembers the appointment on the day and thinks.  “Oh crap, I was supposed to have that done, today” and they scramble to get something done. 

A reminder mechanism intervenes in that space between recording and reporting, helping people get started and even complete tasks in a well-paced manner. With the right reminders in place, upcoming reporting times and deadlines serve as a time-structuring guide rather than as points in time around which to panic. 

When you combine all 3; Record the action to be taken, set up a reminder with sufficient time before the action needs to be completed and pre-arrange a specific date for the person to report back on the action taken the probability of action increases to over 95%!

So the next time you are in a conversation, meeting, or sales call, execute the 3 R’s and see what happens. But be careful, leave out even one of the R’s and, like a stool, it is not going to work very well.

- Logan Harris


Logan Harris is the President and founder of Spotter Global. In 2009, his small start-up company in Orem, Utah pioneered the use of compact surveillance radar for perimeter security. Today Spotter Global is a global leader in radar technology, specializing in providing reliable, innovative, radar-based security solutions to critical infrastructure and other vital sites around the world.

Spotter Global, Jamie Mortensen May 3, 2024
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