Time commitments – ones we make by choice can be telling.
Sometimes we get up early, embrace chances to do ‘that thing’ we’ve planned, that thing we’ve been invited to do – then do it well. As opposed to those things we find ourselves dreading, dragging our feet and looking for excuses/reasons to delay or cancel or avoid.
We’ve all been in that squeeze of time and foreboding – going ahead with things we’ve committed to doing, but wishing we had not …
I’ve learned the ‘quick to say yes’ tendency, which rarely backfires, has consequences worth paying attention to. If it’s something I wanted to do, sought to do and got myself invited to do – well, that’s all on me. If something suddenly doesn’t seem as enticing, if I don’t have as much enthusiasm as I first did – well, that is something I have to suck up and get over because I committed to doing it and it was my stated ‘I want to do this’ thing.
On the other hand, I often get asked to do things at a faster pace than I have the capacity and desire to do them. A nice problem to have I suppose – having people ask you to speak to them, people who want to meet to engage in potential projects, adventures or new careers but when these ‘commitments’ arrive, sometimes if makes for a challenging day because I would rather be somewhere else doing something else with somebody else. BUT, I committed.
The lesson learned (at my age you’d think I’d have learned them all by now), or that I should have learned a long time ago is that saying YES quickly may make friends, may make someone else’s day easier but sometimes it makes my calendar very difficult to manage.
If I’m clearer about what I want to do, why I’m doing it and where I’m going – suddenly each opportunity which arrives helps me decide; if it fits with my plans, my direction and my focus then it is something I’m inclined to do more readily and more enthusiastically (and I probably do a better job) – but, if that ‘great opportunity’ doesn’t fit my plans, direction and focus then it probably isn’t so great an opportunity.
Which is not to say I should always decline, but I’ve learned to think more first, answer more often with ‘let me think about that and get back to you shortly’. It won’t make everyone happy when I decline or delay, but it will keep me clearer on what my commitments really are, why they are and then those commitments get my time and attention in high gear.
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