Hi, this is Garry from Next Actions

In our work and life we make lots of commitments

Theses are commitments to other people as well as commitments to ourselves

But how good are you at keeping those commitments.

Join me now to explore commitments and see how you can use them to boost your growth

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How many commitments have you made today?

How many times have you told someone you’d do something?

How many times have you thought “I’d better do that for myself?”

Now, how many of these are you going to actually keep

Its really easy to make a commitment to someone

You’re having a conversation and say “I’ll do that”

Your in meeting and you say “my team can do that”

We do these more often that we realise

But, how often do you stop and write down that commitment?

Not very often would be my guess

One of the key things to do with any commitment is to write it down

Get it into your trusted task management system

If you’re in a meeting this may be easy – isn’t that what the minutes do for us, capture the commitments we made

But for those quick conversations, the instant messages, them emails, are you collecting those commitments

If we don’t capture our commitments then how are we going to meet them

Are you going to just juggle them in your head?

Be honest, how successful are you at doing that!

Whenever you make a commitment put it into your task management system

And it doesn’t matter if your system is a fancy electronic one, or just a list of items in your notebook

Capture it, process it and do it

What about the commitments you make to yourself?

Are you capturing them anywhere

This could be things like

I’m going to the gym tonight

I’m going to do my top 3 tasks before going home

I’ll call a friend for a catchup

Do you put these into your task management system?

After all they’re just personal things, they’re not work related

It doesn’t matter

Anything you commit to, either to someone else or to yourself, it must go into your task management system

This gives you one place with all of your commitments

A single source of truth for what you need to do

Do you have any commitments that are being kept in your mind at the moment?

Can you share any of them in the comments?

Now also take a minute and put them into your task management system

You’ve got your commitments recorded.

What are you going to do now?

Easy answer you are going to do them.

You are going to work through your task management system and do them one after another.

The not so easy answer, and the one that most matches reality

You’ll start on one, something will come up so you go off and do it

You come back and start again and guess what, something else comes up

After a while you start getting calls and messages asking why you haven’t delivered your commitment

You apologies

You promise to get it done

You truly mean what you are saying

Then something else comes up

This is where you need to prioritise your work

You need to minimise the distractions

You need to start being proactive rather than reactive

There are a number of ways you can do this

The first is to use the Eisenhower matrix

This allows you to categorise your tasks as either

Important and Urgent

Important and Not Urgent

Not Important and Urgent

And Not Important and Not Urgent

The second technique to use is a Daily Review

In this review you are taking a quick look at your tasks

You are not doing the tasks, your just looking at what they are

This allows you to make quick decisions about them.

You are able to set the Importance and Urgency

You are also able to see any commitments that you have made but are not going to be able to do

By identifying that there is going to be a delay allows you to contact the person you made the commitment to

You can apologies and explain that you won’t be able to meet the deadline you agreed

You are then able to negotiate a different deadline, or even scrap the commitment altogether

By getting ahead and contacting the person, rather than waiting for them to chase you allows you to get ahead of any problems

They can see you are being proactive

They can see you haven’t forgotten them

They may still be unhappy, but this will be less than if they had to chase you

Most people will be happy for a deadline to slip

And if they aren’t, well you now know that the task is likely high on the Importance and Urgent scale

But be careful

If you ask for a deadline to be extended then you will likely receive that

If you go back again, then it makes you look incompetent

It makes you look that you have no idea what you are doing

It makes you look like someone who can not be trusted

Do you have any commitments that you are struggling to meet?

If you do then can you put them in the comments below

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To summarise

We make a large number of commitments everyday

The majority of these we try and manage in our heads rather than putting them into a task management system

Stop doing this

Every commitments should be put into you task management system

We also need to make sure we are prioritising our work

This can be done through the use of the Eisenhower Matrix and Daily reviews

If you find a commitment that you are not going to be able to meet then contact the person you have agreed it with

Apologise to them

Ask them for a new deadline

But only do this once.

If you have renegotiated a deadline then it becomes something that you MUST meet

If you don’t then it is going to harm your reputation

Always remember that it is important to meet your commitments

By meeting your commitments

By delivering in a timely and high quality manner, you will increase your reputation

And having a good reputation is one of the keys to success.

If you’re struggling with maintaining your task management system then give me a call

I can help you identify and implement a system that will work for you

I can help you get on top of your commitments

Isn’t it time you got the results you deserve

Please reach out to me on 0415 591672

I am based in Australia so please use the international dialling code +61 if calling from another Country

You can also email me on garry@nextactions.com.au

or visit nextactions.com.au where you will find a link to book a free short introductory call

Do you have any topics you’d like me to cover

If you do please drop a comment below and I’ll add to the list of upcoming videos

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I’ll talk to you again soon