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02 Nov

Do you put obstacles in your own way?

Datum: 2011-11-02 10:59

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!