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Future Shock! Why You Over-commit

shock You’re backed up with work. There’s no time to spare. You’re busy, busy, busy. You eat your lunch at your desk and keep plugging away. An hour passes, then another. It looks like another late night at the office. And it’s Friday. Guess you’ll be working this weekend. As evening approaches, you get a call from a friend who is chairing the fundraising committee this year for his favorite charity. He asks if you’d help raise money this year. The campaign kicks off in a month. Oh, what the heck you say – it’s over a month away. No problem!

You don’t think anymore about it. The weeks turn into a month. You get an e-mail reminding you of the first committee meeting. You’re just as busy now as you were when you committed to it. But now you have yet another obligation – you have to serve on this committee.

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The future becomes the present

A study done a while back showed that we do have a tendency to think we will miraculously be less busy in the future than we are today. So we say “yes” to requests for our time in the future. Then we’re shocked when the future becomes the present and we have even less time than we had before.

We’ve overcommitted ourselves … again!

5 questions to ask before committing yourself

The first question is simply a check. It may be obvious, but we didn’t feel we could leave it out.

  • How will this request advance me toward my goals? If it doesn’t, why say yes.

The next four questions aren’t sequential. They should be answered simultaneously.

  • If you had to do this tomorrow or next week, would you still say yes? If you can’t say yes to this question without hesitation, why commit yourself? But consider the next question before saying “no”.

  • How significant would the impact be on your life if you say yes? You may be willing to pay the price of overextending yourself if the pay off is high enough. If that’s the case, look at the next question.

  • How much time will it realistically take? You can only operate in a state of hyper-activity for a short period of time. If it will take a year, you can’t push yourself that hard. So if it’s a long-term project you may have to say no. If it’s short-term you may be able to say yes. In either case, consider the next question.

  • What am I willing to say “no” to or put “on hold” in order to do this? You only have 24 hours in your day just like any human. Will you sleep less? Spend less time with your family? Skip your next vacation? Be realistic about what you have to give up. Is it worth the price? 

Once you’ve answered these questions, you’re ready to commit (or not commit) your time in the future. You understand that you won’t have more time then. So you’ll be careful to only commit to those things which will make you a bigg success!

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We greatly appreciate you reading our post today. Join us next time as we look at the difference between being battle-scarred and battle-scared. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Thanks to You, Bigg Success is One Year Old!

birthday Hey it’s party time! We’re celebrating the first birthday of Bigg Success. We’re so excited to have come this far. We weren’t sure we would make it!

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Seriously, though, we want to take this opportunity to say one simple thing …

Thank YOU!

We couldn’t do this without you. There would no reason to keep doing it if you didn’t visit us. So whether you check in every day or every now and then, we thank you so much.

It wouldn’t be any fun to do this if you weren’t here. We feel fortunate that more people are discovering Bigg Success. From site visitors to subscribers – in iTunes, in Zune, our newsletter, and our RSS feed – we’re seeing more people every month in every category. We thank you so much for sharing Bigg Success with your friends and business associates!

We also check page views and show downloads and we see that you’re consuming our content faithfully. We’re just thrilled that you take time out of your busy schedule – and we know how busy you are – to check in on us like you do.

You got here early so you’re a leader in the Bigg Success community. We appreciate everything you’ve already done to help us build this community of bigg goal-getters. We just ask this one thing – if you have any feedback, if you have any questions – please reach out to us. If you want to keep it private, send us an e-mail (bigginfo@biggsuccess.com,) or call us on our toll-free number (888-455-BIGG). If you can share it with everyone, just leave a comment. We want to get to know you better in the days and months ahead.

Special thanks

We would be remiss if we didn’t take the time to thank those people who have been a bigg help to us as we launched Bigg Success and throughout our first year.

Chris Brogan You helped us build our confidence when we didn’t know if we could put out content worth anything to anybody. You have also generously shared time with us that we know you didn’t have.

Liz Strauss
You helped us think outside the box and develop a framework for Bigg Success in the coming years. We so appreciate your guidance.
 
Jim Bouchard You have unknowingly been a model for us and you continue to be an inspiration. Our conversations with you always make us think bigger!

Shwen Gwee Is there anyone you don’t know? You’ve been so helpful in introducing to people who have made such a difference in how far we’ve come.

Chris Christensen You’ve always been willing to take time to answer our questions, especially when we were as green as green can be. You’ll know never how much your advice has meant to us.

Denny Birt You’ve been helpful for years in other businesses and now you’re helping us make Bigg Success a bigg success.

Liz McMillen We feel so lucky that you share your graphic design genius with us to give Bigg Success the right look and feel. You’re incredible!

Michael Bailey What would we do without you? You’ve always been there when we faced technological challenges that we didn’t know how to handle. You’re amazing!

Keith Kravitz You’re a fantastic marketer and you’ve helped steer us through the rough waters of launching a site. We just wish you had a little more energy!

Lon Ray That bigg voice. Thanks for introducing us on every Bigg Success Show!

Jerome Ritchey You’re one of the most talented people we know. We love all of your character voices and are so glad you share them with us. This one is our favorite.

Dana Mancuso
You’re so good at taking great lessons away from real life situations. Thanks for sharing your gift of writing with us.

Jake Novak You’re one of the funniest people we’ve ever met. We know you’ll make it bigg in Hollywood someday. Thanks for the laughs!

Paul Faraci You were there when this was just an idea. We thank you so much for all the promotion you’ve given us. You’ve also shared so many resources that have been great show topics. Keep ‘em coming!

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georgePat Drake Mary-Lynn and I can’t thank you enough for both your moral support and all of the advice you’ve given us. We always know you’re listening. I couldn’t find a better sister if I picked her out myself!

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marylynnSue Foster You’re not just my sister; you’re my best friend. Thanks for encouraging in my bigg step from the corporate world to life as a business owner. George and I are so grateful for all your help this year, including your great work on our soon-to-be released DVD.

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We’re very happy with the results of Year 1. We look forward to Year 2 and many more to come. We’d like to virtually share a piece of birthday cake with all of you. It’s totally non-fattening!

Join us next time as we look at a natural experiment that shows how isolation impacts innovation. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

(Image by PinkCakeBox, CC 2.0)