How full is your plate?
If you’re like me, your plate is heaped so full it rivals a hearty serving at a holiday dinner.
My metaphorical plate had become so full I was in danger of having dogs tailing me, waiting for the inevitable spill.
Overcommitment is one of Twelve Troublemakers that plague me as a writer. I’ve explored one a week. This is the last in the series.
In the past, I was obsessed with the idea of time management. I owned a full shelf of books on the topic, could recite Pareto’s Principle in my sleep (the 80-20 rule that says 80% of a person’s results come from 20% of the person’s efforts), and had lists of my lists.
As I’ve matured (sounds so much better than aged, doesn’t it?), I’ve learned some lessons that didn’t come from books.
Time management, while a valuable tool, doesn’t add more hours to our days, despite the claims of some of those well-meaning authors. While making good use of our time can increase what we can accomplish, we still have the same number of hours in a day we always did.
Maximizing what we can get done in the time available doesn’t mean we’re accomplishing what’s most important. We can check off items on our to-do lists, but if those we choose to complete aren’t in alignment with our goals, we can fall prey to the tyranny of the urgent. By responding to the most pressing tasks first, we can end up neglecting the most important.
Practicing time management doesn’t mean we have time for all the activities that interest us. Taking on too many commitments can limit our effectiveness. We won’t be able to devote the time needed to give our best effort when we’ve taken on too much.
Overcommitment can lead to stress. I faced this recently. The needle on my stressometer was in danger of being pinned. My real-life, romance-writing sister is an analyst by day. She gave me some great advice that’s helping me make better use of the time I have. I’ll pass on her sage counsel on Wednesday.
Your Thoughts . . . and a Drawing
Are you overcommitted?
Does one look at your to-do list cause your stomach to clench?
Do you work on the most important, or does the urgent claim your attention?
One person who leaves a comment by Sunday, May 1st will win the otter Folkmanis finger puppet pictured above, along with a small surprise. I’ll notify the winner on May 2nd and add the winner’s name here in this post as well.
Congratulations to Cynthia Herron, winner of the drawing.