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Overcome Overwhelm: 10 Ways to Slow Down and Win --

Aug 17, 2007
It's easy to break agreements. It is especially easy to blow off agreements when you feel overwhelmed and overworked.

After all:
You have way more work to do than time to do it in.
You keep putting off important tasks in order to put out fires.
You don't have the information you need to complete the task at hand.
You have a large stack of business cards you collected while networking.
You have no idea how to prioritize the multiple tasks you face every day.

One form of self-discipline to solve this common dilemma is to commit to ONLY MAKE AGREEMENTS THAT YOU ARE WILLING AND INTEND TO KEEP!

Just doing this can keep you out of lots of trouble.

1. It means you must stop automatically agreeing to do things.

2. Instead, you must take time to think through any agreement you make.

3. Don't say "yes," say "MAYBE." Then say, "I will let you know in (15 minutes, 24 hours, or ??) after I check (the availability, my schedule, etc.) This time agreement is one you must keep.

4. Think about your priorities and resources, including time, energy and money before you decide whether to make the agreement.

5. Make your decision. It should be yes, no or an alternate proposition that takes what you need into account.

6. Communicate your decision within the agreed time period.

7. Now, make an agreement you are definitely willing to keep.

8. Keep whatever agreement you make.

9. If you encounter something that makes it impossible to keep your agreement, don't wait. Communicate about the need to change your agreement at the earliest possible opportunity.

10. Renegotiate a new agreement, repeating your original decision making process.

When you think through your agreements BEFORE you make them, it becomes much easier to stay on target, follow through and achieve success.

Copyright 2004-2006 Laurie Weiss Ph.D.
About the Author
Laurie Weiss, Ph.D., author of "Dare To Say It!," is an internationally known executive coach, psychotherapist, and author. For more simple secrets for turning difficult conversations into opportunities for cooperation and success, visit www.DareToSayIt.com or email: feedback@laurieweiss.com
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