Our reader poll today asks: How often do you overcommit yourself?
- All the time: I regularly take on more than I should: 32.88%
- Sometimes: I can get overly ambitious from time to time: 48.08%
- Not often: I generally do well to not take on too much: 16.10%
- Never: I always manage my commitments rigorously: 2.94%
Biting off too much. 80% of you say you often bite off more than you can chew. It’s easy to add commitments only to find you have too many commitments. Each one seems like a small, marginal task that we can fit in given the other projects we’re working on. The problem is we forget all the other things that take up our time and energy (meetings, email, urgent issues, people development, etc.). In the grand scheme, those new projects don’t fit in easily. The best suggestion I have is to pause before replying and accepting new work. Go look at your task list and your calendar. Identify exactly where the new project fits in. If there’s not an obvious space to place it, consider passing on doing the work. Better to do a few things well than many things poorly!
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These results were originally a SmartPulse poll in SmartBrief on Leadership which tracks feedback from more than 240,000 business leaders. Get smarter on leadership and sign up for the SmartBrief on Leadership e-newsletter.