Monday, May 7, 2012

Enough! I Need a Change!

I haven't been posting regularly on this blog because I allowed myself to get involved in too many things at the same time. No matter how capable you think you are, you have to face up to not being a comic book superhero. We all have our limitations, and the key to success is to either avoid over-committing in the first place or to recognize the problem and develop a step-by-step plan for reducing your load to a manageable level. This also involves determining which of your commitments are to be eliminated or minimized.
Eliminate a commitment that is:

  • Not satisfying to you, even if you accomplish it.
  • Too demanding, because you could do several alternate things for less effort and/or time commitment and with a higher total reward.
  • Not rewarding, in terms of either immediate compensation (may or may not be monetary) or in terms of long-term payoff through the opening-up of new opportunities.
  • Goal-less. Some tasks are done, in juggling terms, for the sake of keeping the balls in the air. You don't want to keep running on the treadmill in order to stay in the same place.
What are the consequences of saying "No!" to a new or ongoing task? Sometimes you can stop doing something, and nobody will even notice. In other cases, you have to find and train somebody else to replace you, because the task must be done by someone. Occasionally, you can simply walk away, forcing someone who otherwise would never have volunteered, to step up, because the lack of a reliable person doing that job threatens the organization. You may be perceived as weak or unreliable for quitting your task, but if you can take that criticism, you may consider yourself a hero for forcing someone else to take responsibility and for giving yourself new found freedom to consider other directions and opportunities. The future starts right now. Re-assess your obligations and, if you feel overburdened, continue only those you deem worthwhile.

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