It’s good etiquette to do favors in a healthy relationship, personal or professional. Pick up the dry cleaning, help a friend move, make a quick update to the website, or send an email campaign.
The problem I have with agreeing to do simple things is that I tend to dismiss the planning and organization routines I’d adhere to in more formal work agreements. So, simple favors turn into poorly planned, never ending feelings that the inch I gave is being pounded into a 6-lane highway – and inevitably, the guys I work with are roped into the same loop.
So, I’ll keep being a good guy, but I’ll stop treating small tasks like favors. If I agree to it, I’ll make sure I keep all the formalities of a well-paid endeavor. I’ll build a (small) calendar, scope constraints, and set expectations. Now, I’ll do the little favor. And in the future I’ll hopefully get fewer thank yous.