Everyone makes this mistake. Everyone. So don't feel bad. We get caught up with all of our work.
Our regular tasks and duties. Old projects. Favors for your friends.
And then a new project comes along. You panic — how are you going to fit this in?
A client of mine once wrote me: “Rich — I don’t know what to do! Every time my phone rings, or when I open my email, or when I go to a meeting, my workload grows exponentially. I am currently huddled in my office with a list of to-do’s that will choke a horse!”
He then emailed me a week later (after our session): “OMG — it’s like night and day. I now have a solid list of actionable tasks which are prioritized and with stated deadlines. I’ve tossed or re-scheduled all of the lower-tier tasks — I feel amazing! Thank you RICH!”
A smart executive regularly reviews their workload and eliminates, retires, and puts on hold those tasks, activities and projects deemed low tier.
Here's the rub — most people don't do this. They try to do everything and they don't do it very well. They hoard (I love that word) — hoard their projects like Scrooge McDuck and are afraid to let any of them get away.
You need to look at your workload like a lifeboat. It only fits 10 people. If another person wants to come aboard, someone has to go. You don't pick the most healthy, important, and vital person — you pick someone who is sickly and causing the most strife.
Frequently assess which ones are:
- Exposure - how many people will this affect? How will you benefit when it's done?
- Impact - how many people really use this? Is it just your pipe-dream or something you like to do?
- Importance - how critical is it to the inner workings or success of the company?
Candidly, when your boss is taking a look at their team, they view the IMPORTANT deliverables first. They account for all the high-exposure projects — the mover and shaker initiatives first.
So start throwing some projects overboard. Today.
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P.S. If you're having problems with timing at work, let's talk. This is one of the main areas I tackle first with all of my clients. If you’re not a client . . . grab your spot now before all the spots for October are taken. Time is getting short.