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As a project manager, I am all too familiar with commitments. There can be no failure to plan and certainly no failure to launch – and everything in between requires relentless commitment to make success happen. Whether you are trying to meet a writing deadline, create a marketing ad quickly or manage a large-scale implementation project, the common denominator is you – or, more specifically, your commitment to the task.

So aside from working 24/7 or making work your sole priority (read: unrealistic!), being committed to your commitment requires a certain mindset and level of endurance. Particularly for workshifters, who savor the freedom and flexibility of choice, saying YES! to a new project is exciting and empowering. Unfortunately, that high plummets to record lows if you run out of steam or realize you cannot deliver.

Here are some of the more helpful lessons I’ve learned about managing commitments:

  1. Realize that you cannot be everything to everyone. Understand your role and what’s expected of you and stick closely to those parameters. Don’t be the cause of your own scope creep!
  2. Know what your core competencies are and how they can grow. Accept new projects/responsibilities only if they fit your pre-existing strengths or provide a growth opportunity worth your time and effort to explore. Don’t veer too far!
  3. Honor your strengths and give the tasks you have committed to full priority. Do not accept anything new until this is accomplished!
  4. Remind yourself daily what your critical project commitments and priorities are. Creating daily “Focus” lists has proven particularly helpful for me.
  5. Stop every so often and review your big-picture goals. Are your commitments actually taking you in the direction of these goals?
  6. Recognize when a commitment is the wrong fit. This awareness will enable you to break the commitment with minimal impact.

How do you remain committed to your commitments?

Photo credit: eschipul

Natalya Sabga is a project management professional and operational efficiency expert turned author, consultant and executive education advisor. Fascinated by the study of human behavior, she has parlayed this into a successful writing career. Ms. Sabga is also the author of "From Secretary to CEO: A Guide to Climbing the Corporate Ladder Without Losing Your Identity" (2010). She is also the President of DNterprises, LLC - a firm specializing in project needs' analysis, and project management from implementation to operation. Ms. Sabga is currently working on her next non-fiction narrative, "A PMP's Guide to Project Managing Your Life," and authoring the blog 'ASK N'.
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