Priority. Clarity. Capacity.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2012
Life doesn’t always go smoothly.
Chances are that in the last few weeks, someone has let you down by not doing something, half doing something, or failing to even consider your needs or wants. It might be an employee, a friend, or even your spouse.
Anger is probably the first reaction. Then … some more anger maybe. Then maybe some hurt. Then, quite possibly, a healthy dose of passive aggression.
But before we get ready to call someone out who has wrongly slighted us, we should ask ourselves another question. Have I let someone down by not doing something, half doing something, or failing to even consider their wants or needs?
[Scratching my head]
Now the question takes a totally different turn, doesn’t it?
I am not here to get pity or especially to throw stones. People are busier than ever these days with work, home, and just general life. The pressure to get things done can constantly weigh on us as we juggle more and more and we often get spread thinner and thinner. But both questions require us to clearly and honestly set our priorities and boundaries.
The core message here is really all about having priority, clarity, and capacity. Here is a quick guide that I’ve found helpful when your life is already busy and more is being asked of you:
1. Priority: Set clear priorities. We all love the idea of being the hero but not adequately focusing on what is necessary will cause us to be the goat. Who or what are the areas that are most important to you right now?
2. Clarity: Gain understanding. Ask questions to fully understand what is being asked of you, the time frame to achieve it, and what success is supposed to look like.
3. Capacity: Think first, respond later. Take some time to consider if you have the time to do what someone is asking of you. It is always better to turn someone down now than to let them down later.
Stay focused on your priorities. Add more only when you’re interested and available, so you can be more productive where it counts.