Do you understand exactly what you are committing to before you say yes to doing something at work? What do we even mean by commitment at work?
To me, commitment & delivering on your commitments means doing things you said you would do in the timeframe that you agreed with the people that you have committed to.
When working with people during coaching or training sessions, people come to the session feeling some or a lot of overwhelm where they are inadvertently saying yes to things that it would be more beneficial to say no to. Maybe you don’t have the time or the capacity to take it on. Maybe it’s not as important to get it finished in the timeframe. Maybe there is someone else who is better resourced or has more knowledge or time to do the thing that you are saying yes to.
If you are unsure of the things that you are automatically saying yes to, look back over the day or the last week & reflect on:
What are the things that I said yes to, sometimes without even noticing, that it would have been more beneficial to say no to?
When someone asks you to do something, before you commit to this consider:
1. What’s the impact on me & on the things I have already committed to if I say yes to this? (e.g. my own time; other people’s time)
2. What’s the impact if I say no to this request? Are there other options than me / my team for completing this?
3. Am I 100% guaranteed to deliver on this (without it having a negative impact on other things that I am delivering)?
4. What is involved in getting this done?
Really understand whether you are giving yourself the best chance of success by committing to doing something. Overcommitting was a habit that I was in for years. I honestly believed I couldn’t say no to things. I felt like I had to do what people wanted me to do:
I wanted to be helpful & a team player & help other people in the team to get things completed. When I said yes to doing things, I had good intentions & really believed I could get things completed however I wasn’t fully aware of the commitment / time / resources required & would continuously be under pressure.
Planning out 100% of our time without leaving time for things that go wrong & unexpected things that will come up puts you under pressure straight away. In estimating the time it will take to do something you can add on 30% to a task to give yourself “free time”. This free time is time to deal with the unexpected things or things that go wrong. If you are interested in focusing on time management, check out this initial blog here on realising how you can manage your time.