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I Don’t Need therapy, but Where do I Turn for Answers? 

124 Tips for Having
a Great Relationship
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124 Tips for Having
a Great Relationship

What is the Emperor Wearing? Truth-Telling in Business Relationships

Recovery from CoDependency: It’s Never too Late to Reclaim Your Childhood

An Action Plan for Your Inner Child: Parenting Each Other 



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Issue #19

Permanent Solutions
Laurie Weiss, Ph.D. 

Barbara Wells, Managing Partner at Minor and Brown, has found a solution to a problem that plagues many managers in professional firms.

Work delegated to busy junior professionals (attorneys, in Barbara’s case; accountants, architects, designers — you name it — in other situations), gets put into a pending pile. Little if any progress is made on completing the work until shortly before it is due. Time needed to complete the work is underestimated, and completing the work becomes extremely stressful.

Clients, whom the junior professionals may never have met, can be disappointed. The manager is frustrated because explaining the reasons for delays to clients is never fun. The manager is also frustrated because she has work of her own to complete, and does not want to spend her time checking up on others.

Many managers have procrastination problems of their own, largely because they have so many high priorities to juggle. The common problem that “management is a series of interruptions, interrupted by interruptions,“ causes them to arrive very early or stay very late to try to get their own work done.

Barbara’s responsibilities include monitoring attorney progress, workflow, marketing, cashflow, collections and billing, as well as strategic planning and staff management in a firm that includes 13 attorneys. Almost everything was going smoothly, except for the workflow monitoring. When challenged to create a system to make everyone responsible for their own work, she devised a brief, mandatory, weekly “Tasklists Anonymous“ meeting.

Her system is simple. Every task that is assigned to an attorney is placed on a list — a common practice in professional firms. However, Barbara takes this several steps further. Based on the premise that all work should be completed within 2-4 weeks, each professional‘s list is divided into three parts.
1. Tasks that must be done by next week.
2. Tasks that must be done by 2 weeks (from now) and/or should be done next week.
3. Tasks that must be done by 3 weeks (from now) and/or should be done by 2 weeks.

Her rule is that every task should move up to the next higher category every week! The way the rule is enforced is that everyone, including herself, presents their updated lists at the weekly “Tasklists Anonymous“ meeting. No penalties are necessary. Social pressure is enough. The work progresses, and Barbara has more time to devote to other priorities.

Coaching tip: When a problem persists, look for a system to that will solve it permanently.

The e-Booklet, 124 Tips for Having a Great Relationship, is complete. You can download your copy immediately from HERE.

The print version is now available; order it HERE

Empowerment Systems When Change is the Challenge.

Jonathan B. Weiss, Ph.D., and Laurie Weiss, Ph.D., have helped thousands of people make significant changes in their lives. Working together at Empowerment Systems for 31 of their 43 years of marriage, they maintain a coaching, consulting, and psychotherapy practice in Littleton, Colorado, USA.

Copyright 2003, Empowerment Systems. Please feel free to forward or reproduce this Newsletter for any purpose, as long as you give detailed credit, including this copyright line; if you reprint it in a publication, we request that you send us a complete copy of it.

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