Managing To-Do's

Do you unintentionally make your own life harder? 😬

December 13, 2019

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Recently, I had a great conversation with one of my favorite people. On our walk to get coffee, we talked about the difficulty of saying “no” or “later” to a new project.

We both like to say something like, “given everything on my plate right now, I can turn to this on X date” — and either hope they’re good with the later date or, in some cases, turn to someone else.

But here’s the problem: Due to people-pleasing guilt, we often throw out a date that will only work if we work nights/weekends on our current projects to make ourselves available. Time we’re sacrificing from our people we want to spend time with.

Whether you’re an attorney managing a partner or client’s expectations or an entrepreneur managing those of a client or collaborator, you know what I’m talking about.

Next time this happens (basically anytime you’re asked to put a deadline on something), really think through everything you have on your plate — work, fun AND SLEEP. Think through when you’re truly available without modifying your personal life or sleep — and then add an extra 1-3 days (because curveballs will come up between now and then in your current life/workload). And only then state that date. (Shameless plug: This is why I like EVERYTHING time-blocked in your calendar because it’s all spelled out for you in a visual setting in one place – work, life, tasks, sleep, everything.)

Shockingly, that later date is usually FINE with the other person!

And if they need it sooner, they’ll let you know — and it’s usually later than the date you’d have picked anyway!

It’s crazy to realize WE’VE been the ones making our own lives harder by throwing out too-tight deadlines that the other person may not even have needed in the first place. And that’s a wonderful thing to realize because now we can change it.

P.S. If you’re curious about the whole putting-everything-in-your-calendar thing, check out my free 5-day program, the Reset & Refresh, here.

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