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7 Ways to Always Do What You Say You’ll Do

7 Ways to Always Do What You Say You’ll Do

No one likes to admit they aren’t a superhero. I’m no exception. I’ve often agreed to “one thing too many,” only to turn around and find that pleasing everyone just wasn’t possible because of something else I’d already said I’d do. If this sounds familiar, chances are, you’ve had at least one person close to you tell you how much you disappointed them or how badly you screwed up their plans. The good news is, there really is a way to get more organized and make sure you can always keep your promises. 7 ways, to be more precise. Use these 7 ways to always do what you say you’ll do to keep your life more organized and balanced.

1) Don’t agree to or promise anything you’re not absolutely sure you can deliver.

All rights reserved by little.lions

    All rights reserved by little.lions

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    This seems simple, but it may actually be the hardest thing on this list. You agree to a favor for a friend. Then your boss nails you with a big project that has a tight deadline. Next, your spouse asks you to undertake a repair job that goes from “fifteen minutes and a screwdriver” to “four hours, no end in sight, and every single tool in the toolbox.” Finally, your college professor wants to meet with you about your performance, all in the middle of Pluming-geddon. What do you do? Some things can’t wait. We understand this. So the things that can may have to, but once you’ve agreed to it, you had better provide. You owe it to yourself and those around you.

    2) Keep a reasonable schedule.

    A reasonable schedule doesn’t mean working for 48 hours straight and then sleeping for 12. A reasonable schedule involves making time for your obligations, your family, and yourself. If you find yourself buried under a couple of big projects, or a plethora of smaller ones that threaten to interfere with that, it is time to stop and reevaluate what you’re doing.

    3) Be honest, to yourself and the people you make promises to.

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    Honest Tea Cap (Photo credit: Dome Poon)

      Honest Tea Cap (Photo credit: Dome Poon)

      “Oh, sure, that’ll be easy!” “I can do that in two shakes, no problem!” “Pffffft….of course I’m sure!” (All the while, your inner voice is screaming, “And just where are you going to find the time for all that, Chuckles?”) We all want to appear confident and capable in front of our peers, our employers, or our families. Nothing shreds that perception faster than trying to bluff about how much you can do in a day. You’ve only got 24 hours. Be realistic about what you can accomplish. You’ll get more respect by saying, “I can’t, because…” than you will by getting yourself buried in projects with no end in sight.

      4) Don’t make excuses.

      If you’ve gotten yourself in over your head, don’t make excuses or try to pass the blame off on someone else. You got yourself in too deep, and need to own this. Just be honest and let the chips fall where they may. You might be surprised at how understanding most people are, if you only give them the chance to be.

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      5) Say no to things.

      Saying yes to happiness means learning to say no to the things and people that stress you out.

        Sometimes, there’s only one way to deal with someone who’s trying to add that last straw onto your back. The word “no” exists in every language on Earth for a reason, folks. If you’re about to hit that “one straw too many,” this is what the word “no” is for! It’s better to refuse something than to put your entire schedule in jeopardy and derail all the promises you’ve made because you tried to do too much.

        6) Suggest compromises or alternate suggestions.

        If you can’t drop everything to deal with something right now, maybe you can think of a compromise or the name of someone else who can do it better, faster, or who’s just less busy. Rather than a flat “no,” this is a productive alternative for showing that although you’re busy beyond any reasonable definition of sanity, you’re still willing to take time to help out. Even if it’s not in the way the other person or people hoped for, that counts for something.

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        7) Understand that you are only human, and expect the same from others.

        upgradeyourself

          I very much doubt you’re wearing an S on your chest, hail from a planet with a red sun, or have an allergy to glowing green crystals of extraterrestrial origin. While it can be tempting to try to impress the people around you by doing more by 8am than they’ll do all day, it’s not really necessary. If you have people around you who don’t seem to understand that you’re only human, it’s time to have a talk with them and explain it to them in a way that cannot be misinterpreted. If YOU don’t understand that you’re only human, you need to take a time-out and a reality check. You’re going to hurt yourself if you don’t. You’ll be more productive, healthier, and happier for it!

          More by this author

          J.S. Wayne

          J.S. Wayne is a passionate writer who shares lifestyle inspirations and tips on Lifehack.

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          Last Updated on November 3, 2020

          How to Use the Prioritization Matrix When Every Task is #1

          How to Use the Prioritization Matrix When Every Task is #1

          It takes being productive to get things done correctly and on time. So how do you know which tasks are essential and which can wait? The answer is in the Prioritization Matrix, also known as the Eisenhower Matrix.

          The matrix took its name after Dwight David Eisenhower.

          Eisenhower was a general in the US army and the 34th President of the United States from 1953 to 1961. As a five-star general and a Supreme Commander in the US Army, he drafted the strategy for an Allied invasion of Europe.[1]

          Eisenhower had to make tough decisions every time about which tasks to prioritize out of many he needed to focus on daily. So, he came up with the famous Eisenhower Matrix, or the Prioritization Matrix.

          What Is the Prioritization Matrix?

          The Prioritization Matrix is a tool for rating your tasks based on urgency. It helps you know the critical activities and those tasks that you should bypass and can be useful in project management, small businesses, or personal tasks.

          Eisenhower famously said of the matrix:

          “Most tasks that are urgent are not important, and most tasks that are important are not urgent.”

          This quote became the maxim for Eisenhower in managing his time.

          There are four quadrants in the Prioritization Matrix, which help in comparing choices of what to do first and last, allowing you to prioritize projects and create strategic plan[2].

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          Eisenhower Matrix Template

            The quadrants are:

            • Do
            • Schedule
            • Delegate
            • Eliminate

            Do

            Do is the first quadrant in the Prioritization Matrix, and it incorporates important activities. That is, those tasks you need to carry out urgently — crises, deadlines, and issues that need your urgent attention and are highly relevant to your life mission.

            Hw do you know which task falls into this quadrant?

            Start by analyzing your priorities, and then establish if it falls within the ‘do it now’ criteria. If the task is achievable within a day, or within 24 to 48 hours, it’s urgent.

            Another approach you can adopt in prioritizing tasks in this category is to adopt the “eat the frog” principle by Mark Twain. This principle recommends that you do the most urgent activities as soon as you wake up.

            Here’s a practical example.

            Let’s say you need to draft a content strategy and submit a report to your manager. It’s Saturday, and the deadline for submission is Monday. Can we say the activity is urgent? Definitely!

            Schedule

            The second quadrant of the prioritization matrix is Schedule. The Prioritization Matrix classifies tasks in this category as important but not that urgent.

            They are long-term objectives and tasks with no immediate deadline. Those tasks could include meditation, journaling, studying, family time, and exercising.

            You can plan out activities in this quadrant for some other period. For instance, you should exercise for good health, but you can allocate time to do it.

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            Schedule these activities in such a way that they don’t transfer to the “Do” or “Urgent” quadrant. Ensure you have sufficient time to carry them out.

            Delegate

            The third quadrant of the prioritization matrix is Delegate.

            These tasks are not important to you but are quite urgent for others. This is where teamwork comes into play.

            You can technically perform tasks in this category, but it makes sense to delegate them. Delegating tasks will ensure you have more time to pursue activities in your first two quadrants.

            You should also monitor the tasks you have delegated. It will only amount to a sheer waste of time if you don’t have a tracking system for delegated tasks.

            Eliminate

            The last quadrant highlights your productivity killers. They are tasks that are not important to your goals and not urgent. The only way to boost your productivity is to eliminate them.

            Some examples are constantly checking your phone, watching movies, or playing video games.

            They could also be bad habits that you need to identify and delete from your daily and weekly schedule.

            Successful people have learned how to prioritize and stick to what’s important. They have learned to find a better person for a task or eliminate less significant tasks.

            Let’s consider two inspiring personalities that have designed their prioritization system.

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            Warren Buffet developed a two-list prioritization model to determine which task deserves his best attention. The bottom line is bypassing things that are important and useful but not top of the priorities.

            Mark Ford, a business advisor, marketer, self-made millionaire, and author devised his strategy:

            “Start work on the most crucial priority, take a break, work on the second most important task, take a break, then sort out the less important activities and any tasks he received from other individuals by afternoon.” [3]

            How to Use The Prioritization Matrix

            Using the Prioritization Matrix can be tricky if you’re new at it, but by following a few simple steps, you can learn to utilize it in the best way possible.

            1. List and Rank Your Priorities

            Highlight all the tasks you need to carry out in a day. Then, classify them with weighted criteria based on urgency and importance.

            Identify any activity that requires prompt action. I’m referring to a task that if you don’t complete that day, it could produce a grave consequence. For instance, if you don’t submit your content strategy, other content writers cannot work. It means you need to check for high-priority dependencies.

            2. Define the Value

            The next step is to examine the importance and assess which of them impacts your business or organization the most. As a rule of thumb, you can check which tasks possess higher priority over others. For instance, you need to attend to client’s requirements before you take care of any internal work.

            You can also estimate value by examining how the task impacts the people and customers in the organization. In a nutshell, the more impact a task has on people or the organization, the higher the priority.

            3. Take out the Most Challenging Task

            Procrastination is not a symptom of laziness, but avoidance is. The truth is that you will typically avoid tasks you don’t want to do. The former CEO of Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein, once said he would take out the most dreaded task first thing when he got to the office.

            Brian Tracy called these tasks the frogs you need to eat. That will remove the nagging dread, which mounts pressure on you when you postpone necessary tasks[4]. This is where the Prioritization Matrix can help; eat the “Do” frogs immediately.

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            If you need help overcoming procrastination, check out this article.

            4. Know What’s Important to You

            As long as you are in this cosmos, you will always encounter different choices that may be contradictory to your goals. For instance, a fantastic promotion that requires excessive travel will isolate you from important relationships. If you are not priority-conscious, you may accept it, even though your family is your priority.

            Therefore, it makes sense to identify what is important to you and to prepare yourself not to compromise those important things for immediate pleasure or gain.

            Yogi Berra captioned it this way:

            “If you do not know your destination, you might end up somewhere else.”

            5. Establish Regular “No Work” Time

            YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki established a rule not to check her emails between 6 pm and 9 pm. According to a CNN Business report, she was the first woman to request maternity leave when Google just got started. She prioritizes dinner time with her family despite being the CEO of YouTube[5].

            Is it possible to cut out time for our relationships and interests outside of work?

            Of course, and that’s why you need to set out your “no work” time. This approach will enable you to renew your energy levels for the next task. Also, you will be in the best position to introspect as you are not in your usual work zone.

            6. Know When to Stop

            You can achieve everything on your list sometimes. After you have prioritized your workload and assessed your estimates, remove the remaining tasks from your priority list and focus on your most urgent and important tasks.

            Conclusion

            It’s not enough to be successful at work. Ensure you make out time for your family and an important relationship in your life.

            Getting started and finding time may be tricky, but with some practice using the Prioritization Matrix, you’ll find that you are more productive and better able to divide your time between the things that are important to you.

            More Tips on Prioritizing

            Featured photo credit: William Iven via unsplash.com

            Reference

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