Everywhere I look, I see commitments that I have made, commitments, that I have kept, and commitments that I have missed. I am looking at emails, work items, bills, schedules and a myriad of other things with due dates, expectations, and perceptions by others about what I should deliver. The flood of these “priorities” overwhelms, incapacitates, and prohibits us. How do we wrangle this?
- “Just Do It!” - If you said yes, make it mean something! Show integrity, character, and willingness to get it done. When this will be impossible, please communicate out and look to find the compromise or an alternative solution.
- Reset your expectations - Many times, we put commitments on ourselves. No one else has that expectation and if it doesn’t get done, that might be ok. We always prioritize and reprioritize based upon the situation at the time.
- Reset the expectations of others - I don’t know how many questions / emails / tasks that I get where I haven’t committed to any of that work. There is an expectation set by others without my involvement. Be proactive, communicate the timeline that you think you will complete it.
- Say no alot! Not everything is priority. There are 24 hours in a day. Prioritize on what is most important and can be done. When the “prioritization” is done for you, communicate early and often what other items will not get done because of this change. I try not to put myself in the position at work where I have to make the judgement call on competing items that I can’t control. I can influence for sure, but sometimes, balls must be dropped when juggling. The question is, have you communicated how those dropped priorities will affect those counting on the work to get done.
Today, as I go through my lists for the week, I am looking at my capacity, what is important, and where I can say no so that I can deliver the most important things.