Risk Assess Your List of Commitments

What happens when your commitment level exceeds your time, money, or energy?  Have you ever stressed because you said ‘yes’ to too much and felt guilty because you had to back out of commitments.  I’ve had this happen and been frustrated by it so I thought maybe others had as well.  So how do you risk assess your list of commitments?  Here are a few things I’ve done that I hope are helpful.  I’d also like to hear from you to see what options you’ve employed to reduce the chance of this issue.

 Rank Effectiveness

A commitment could take many different forms.  We may enter a commitment to an organization, to a friend or family member, our job, etc.  In any case, we commit to something because we determine there is some worth in the commitment.  Be the worth to us, to another person we care about, a cause, etc.

So one good means for deciding if we want to commit to something is if it benefits someone or something we value.  I think this may even be a pretty natural reaction to someone asking us to make a commitment; that is, we would likely start thinking right away of why we would even want to do that.

Another good means for deciding on a commitment is how effective that commitment will be at providing benefit to someone or something we value.  Some commitments may seem like a good idea at first but if we analyze it a bit further it may only provide a very small benefit for the amount of resource investment it would take on your part.  Perhaps that time/energy/money could be directed to another commitment that would generate a greater benefit toward someone or something we value.

Balance Commitments

If you’ve read a number of blog posts on this site you were probably just waiting for me to mention the word… balance.

HandshakeWell, balance is another good means for deciding on a commitment.  As mentioned earlier we have a variety of people and causes in life we care greatly about.  So shouldn’t we try to balance our commitments across this spectrum?  If a few areas get the majority of our commitments some other areas in our life of value could be affected and possibly atrophy due to lack of attention.

Be sure you aren’t focusing all your resources in one or two directions but balance them across the people and things most important in life.

Stay In the Moment

This may seem like common sense but how often have you felt so overwhelmed with your list of to-dos that you catch yourself thinking of something else on that list while you are trying to be engaged in the thing you are doing at the moment?

This may seem like multitasking but it is actually causing you to be far less Notebookeffective at the task at hand.  When you catch yourself thinking about some other to-do item while already engaged in something else push the thought aside or make a note to return to later if you need to.  Keep yourself focused in the moment.

It’s also a good idea to set a weekly or even daily time of just 5-10 minutes to think through your commitments, to-dos, and these thoughts that came up while you were busy in-task.  Nothing formal just when you have downtime allow yourself the time to process the thoughts you didn’t have time to before.

I’d really like to hear ways you handle commitment management.  Leave a comment below.