The factory mindset was to get your assignment, finish your assignment, and go home. You’ve done this yourself — you feel you’ve accomplished a lot by clearing out your e-mail inbox, clearing the inbox on your desk, and not having the voicemail light lit on your phone. The problem is that clearing out e-mail, clearing out voicemail, and clearing off your desk are not really your “assignment,” they’re just part of the world that we live in.
Seth Godin offers this advice:
The challenge is NOT to empty your inbox. The challenge is not to get your boss to tell you what to do.
The challenge is to ask a two part question:
What next? What now?
As Seth says, asking the questions is the hard part.