Overstretched? This may help.

By guest blogger Susanna Bellini

Have you ever been asked to do something, agreed to do it and then regretted the energy and time necessary to complete the task?

Before you decide whether to commit your time and energy to a new project, ask yourself the following questions and make a better decision based on the answers:

1. Is this something I care passionately about? (i.e. is this my project, or am I being drawn into someone else’s?)

2. Who will this project benefit?

3a. What is the cost to me of participating? (e.g. Time, energy, money, stress etc.)
3b. What is the cost to me if I don’t participate (e.g. Pressure from others, social disapproval, feeling I am ‘letting people down’ etc.)

4a. What are the benefits to me of participating? (e.g. Social approval, avoiding hassle and pressure, sense of achievement, feeling worthwhile etc.)
4b. What are the benefits to me of declining to participate? (e.g. Free time, time for activities I find more worthwhile etc.)

Consider your answers and make a better decision based on the pros and cons arriving firmly in the positive!

This can be done quickly – the first answers ‘off the top of your head’ or with a bit more reflection – whatever seems most useful. If you do need more reflection time, tell whoever is asking you to do something that you will think about it and get back to them. Refuse to be drawn into immediate agreement as you may then feel ‘tied in’ because you ‘promised’!

At the end of this process a course of action will appear to be the best one. You may still not like it, or may find it difficult to do, but the main thing is that you have thought it through and it is now your choice. And your responsibility if you make the choice, but much fairer this way and something you can feel you own.

Overstretched? This may help. by

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