Don't be afraid to disappoint to stay the course

Some weeks are cluttered and hectic and it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day.

Some days you go through the motions on autopilot and feel like nothing gets done.

Where did the time go?

Both of these experiences are symptoms of the same problem.

You have overcommitted yourself. And here’s the crazy thing - you probably didn’t even notice.

Commitments sneak up on us.

Maybe someone asked you to do a simple task, and because you don’t like conflict you said, “yes”. Or maybe you didn’t want to lose a sale. Or you just wanted to go on with the meeting.

Whatever the reason you feel like you can’t go back on your word. Doing so would mean not being in integrity with yourself, or that you might disappoint the other person.

But the truth of the matter is refusing the wrong commitments is an act of service.

You say “no” to rewriting that proposal because your business would be better served by you creating a scalable business offer and on-boarding process.

You say “no” to running that extra report for a client to design a better content delivery system for all of your clients.

You say “no” to doing customer service yourself to build out a support team.

When you are ruthless about the tasks that you commit to you can free yourself up to do deep work. Deep work is necessary to become an expert and a leader in your industry.

Developing the practice of deep work requires space and quiet.

And right now your mind is racing with too many to-dos.

So kill your to-do list. Right now.

Eliminate your responsibilities.

No one who ever “had it all’ actually did everything they were supposed to do.

Should’s and Have-To’s stand in the way of transformation.

It’s why you’re still doing tasks you could have automated (or delegated) months ago.

And why implementing systems is always on the agenda down the road.

Prune your commitments, choose your priorities wisely, and then take action.

One simple step you can take? Stop putting off creating systems

Systems help clear the mind, provide clarity, and build a company that runs itself.

And what could be better than that?

Other than a good cup of coffee and some silence

P.S The book Deep Work by Cal Newport, a fellow MIT grad, explores the topic more thoroughly and is best paired with a reading on the classic, The ONE Thing.