This time management tip is based on being realistic. Are you feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, and perplexed as to how to get everything done in a day? If you are, it may be time to ask yourself if you’re trying to do more than you can realistically handle.

In your eagerness to excel, advance, and achieve goals have you become like a kid in a toy store? When you over tax yourself you aren’t doing yourself or anyone around you any favors. Do you find yourself making too many mistakes, forgetting commitments, and missing deadlines? These are warning signs that you may be in over your head as far as the amount of work you are trying to achieve.

If your reality check indicates you’ve exceeded your limits how do you get yourself out of the mess you’re in? Identification of the problem is the first step toward a solution. Now that you know what the problem is, it’s time to do a realistic evaluation. What do you want to accomplish, or what do you have to accomplish to maintain your status? This is your must do’s list.

Train those around you to have more realistic expectations. If you’ve been struggling with this juggling act for a while you’ve probably trained those around you to place unrealistic demands on you. You have to set your boundaries before you can communicate those boundaries to others. You’ve probably been living without time boundaries, and that’s why you’re so over stressed. So when someone approaches you with yet another commitment the reasonable response is, “yes, I can do that but I won’t be able to get to it until” or “yes, I can do that but what do you want me to push back in order to do this” or even “yes, I can do that if I can assign this other project to”. Thus you begin to train others to hold more realistic time expectations, and to understand there are boundaries or limits to what they can expect. You also need to consider “no” as an option when what you are being asked to do doesn’t fit with what you’re trying to accomplish.

Eliminate the nonessentials. Even though you don’t realize it you probably spend a great deal of your time each day dealing with nonessentials because you’ve always done these things. Make a list of all these nonessentials and really challenge yourself to stop doing the things that you can simply stop doing, and to delegate the things that someone else could do just as well.

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