Take back your daily schedule and restore order to your life

Just last week, I was invited to lead a 2018 Accelerate Your Impact workshop for experienced professionals to enhance their relevance and impact for the fiscal year.

One of my primary talking points has been looking at leaders who have a hard time saying no. Since most professionals are overcommitted, this makes it difficult to find the time to align to current deliverables and future goals.

The exercise includes six columns which quickly captures time and resource allocation. Now, many have initially responded with “my day is not my own” or “I do the work assigned to me” or some other version that pushes the responsibility elsewhere.

Admittedly, I had similar thoughts. However, what I have learned from interviewing successful professionals for my books is that there are direct correlations between your commitments and the degree of relevance and future impact achieved.

Although I too have read “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There,” by Marshall Goldsmith and “The Power of Now,” by Eckhart Tolle, I desired a quick and easy way to capture work streams, impact and alignment. I have shared this chart with many professionals that are working to maximize the use of their time to cultivate their goals.

Here’s how it works:

Commitments — Make a list of your professional commitments. These are tasks, meetings, conversations and activities in which you’re already committed to doing. This column may take a few weeks to complete.

Requester — Who asked you to work on this commitment? This requester could be you, a family member, boss, neighbor, community person or

Alignment — Does this commitment effectively align with where you are now or where you plan to accelerate your impact? Use “Y” for yes and “N” for no.

Energy — What kind of energy do you get from this commitment? Do you look forward to this commitment or do you dread this commitment? Use a “+” if this commitment energizes you, a “-” if you don’t look forward to this commitment and a “/” if you have mixed feelings about this commitment.

Time — When possible, list the amount of time each commitment takes. Time should factor into your decision for the next column. A commitment that only takes a few minutes or a few hours each week might not be as big of a drain as a commitment that takes several hours each week.

Remove — As you complete this chart, examine every commitment you have listed. Are there some commitments that can be removed or cut back based on where you are now or where you plan to have an impact next?

What I have learned is agreeing to the wrong requests for your time in the form of a commitment negatively influences the right requests and often impacts your ability to create your desired results.

For more details, a chart and guidelines on future requests, visit www.jjdigeronimo.com/powerofno

JJ DiGeronimo is president at TechSavvy Women