Being the hero

Chris Taylor's Profile Picture

We can all acknowledge that focus is important. But how do you reclaim focus when you’re already dealing with overwhelm?

As we pursue outside financing here at Actionable, we’re on a bit of an expenditure freeze.  And yet the business continues to evolve and grow.  Round 2 of the Business Builder Bootcamp was announced last week.  We have four new enterprise clients that are excited and ready to go.  The Actionable Book Club is entering its 4th phase (stay tuned for announcements in early November!) and “business as usual” continues to be as busy as ever.

Which brings me to my point – when we can’t spend any extra money on supporting the growth, my reaction has been, “I’ll do it.

Those 3 words that feel empowering to say… and will cripple you if you’re not careful.

Commitment is such an interesting animal.  It’s so easy.  It can feel so good to assume the weight of the extra responsibility.  And, for most of us, I believe it comes from a place of good intention.  But then what?

What happens when you can’t deliver on all your commitments?  What happens when you start dropping things?  Even more tricky perhaps, what happens when you know you’re overcommitted and that inevitably you will drop something?

What do you do?

I see three potential paths:

1.  You continue taking on more and more, until you ultimately do drop something or, highly likely, just shut down completely.  Obviously not sustainable.

2.  You stop taking on more, and “manage” your overloaded plate, running from fire to fire until you ultimately “struggle through” (hopefully).

3.  You cut off limbs.  Rather than give the minimum required energy to everything, you regain your focus by sacrificing some initiatives, freeing up time to “double down” on the most important.  We need to be strategic, obviously.  We also need to be brave.  Be willing to swallow our pride and admit that we’ve over-committed.  It’s “safer” to pretend, but when does it all come crumbling down?  And isn’t it better to deliberately recalibrate than wait until something blows?

Where are you overcommitted and, if you had to, what would you sacrifice now to ensure your long term success?


Image credit:  LoisBarth

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