Are You Managing Your Commitments Properly?
A common mistake when thinking about task management is to think that what needs to be managed are the things we are doing, when it is actually the things we are not doing that need to be managed.
One of the biggest factors for why we have stress in our lives are commitments - either commitments with ourselves or commitments with others. The commitments themselves are not the cause of stress; it’s the fear of not keeping a commitment that creates stress.
In reality we are often not aware of what commitments we made that we are not keeping, we just have a sense that we are out of integrity with our commitments.
We are usually aware of commitments that we make with other people, but not as aware when it comes to commitments that we make with ourselves. For example, we see that there is a typo on our contract papers that we use with our clients. We make a mental note that we need to fix this typo (commitment with ourselves).
Obviously this is a small commitment, but we make these types of commitments constantly, all day long, on a big scale and on a small scale.
Since we don’t write those things down we are starting to feel that we are not accomplishing what we should be. We feel like we are falling behind and the end of the day we feel like we just haven’t accomplished enough. “If I would do one more thing, maybe then I would feel good about what I did today… “ But you never do and the stress slowly just starts more and more becoming part of your life.
The only way to alleviate the stress created by those commitments is by either following through on the commitment, by renegotiating the commitment or by canceling the commitment.
But in order to do that we need to be aware of what these commitments are. To me that is the whole point of having tasks lists, projects lists, etc. – so you can clearly see what is on your plate and every day make conscious decisions about what you need and can do each day – and what not.
One powerful tool to get started and become aware of all the commitments that you have made is to do a brain dump. It is a tool to put on paper and in front of us all the commitments that we are subconsciously juggling around every day.
Renegotiate one commitment that you know already know you are not intending to keep
Do the brain dump exercise