Do you have a feeling that you actually strain yourself more than necessary? Do you have more to do than you are in fact comfortable with? Do you have things you would like to do, but never seem to have time for?
OK. Then it appears as if you might find a calibration of your level of ambition to what is actually expected of you, useful.
I am guessing that those you deliver something to tend to be very pleased, and you therefore have quite a number of people who want you to do something for them.
That’s terrific, but it might require a higher energy-input than what is necessary. If you work harder and more than you need to, you will miss out on enjoying your success and progress.
And might it also be true that you immediately accept any requests to supply your services as soon as someone gives you an assignment?
If you haven’t already, do a reality-check to see if you really need to deliver at the high level you spontaneously work and produce at. Doing this would allow you to spend time and energy on the right things. Please forgive me for the rather unceremonious metaphor, but you would then never again “cast pearls before swine”. Working on overload is quite frankly a waste of time (and hence money, since time supposedly is money).
Try doing this
Whenever you are intending to do something for someone else, give the person in question two options. For instance say: “I would be glad to help you. I’m on it! Do you need x, y and a nicely designed z, or will having x ready well before you need it, suffice?”
Allow for the second option to be equivalent of a production-level significantly lower than you actually would estimate the receiver to require. Let it even be lower than what feels natural to you. You will be surprised and amazed over how much you previously have overestimated the requirements and expectations.
In an agreeably large number of instances, the receiver will choose the simpler option. Accept his or her choice of the “lower” level. And do not forget that it is still the receiver who is determining what is adequate and what isn’t.
Does this undermine your competitiveness?
But one might ask yourself why you would want to lower your level of ambition? You may experience your over-achievements as one of your competitive advantages compared to your competition in other businessmen, to other key-people in your organization, or relative to other project-participants (with whom you are competing for the next step on the career-latter).
The question is if this is in fact accurate. If you are one of those who tend to have a higher level of ambition than what the situation requires of you, I am guessing that your ambition also constantly increases. What was amazing yesterday is regarded as what you think you must achieve by default today, and is actually below the acceptable level tomorrow. The people who you deliver your services to might not keep up with this rapid ambition-acceleration of yours.
Work with moderation
If you make sure to coordinate the level you need to produce and deliver at with what is required of you, you can adjust yourself accordingly and spend enough, but not too much, energy and time on each assignment. This will lead to more time over for the tasks where your ambition level is soaring high; those which are truly important to you and your development, regardless what you are striving to achieve.
If the receiver of the service chooses the “higher”, initial option, then you will be certain of what is required of you, and you can thereafter begin completing the tasks with joy and vigor, safely knowing that you are going the extra mile for someone who will know to appreciate your efforts.
What is your way?
How do you make sure you spend just the right amount of time on each task? Write a comment and tell us!