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Time commitment triage – better ways to manage your time

Everyone wants a piece of your day. Here’s how to determine if you should give it to them.

It’s flattering to be invited to meetings of all kinds. We all like to be included and be asked our opinion. Many are rich and rewarding experiences, but others can be time suck disasters.

Peter Bregman
Peter Bregman

In “18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done,” Peter Bregman provides a dead-simple method for time commitment triage.

Bregman recommends asking yourself three simple questions before you accept any commitment.

  1. Am I the right person?
  2. Is this the right time?
  3. Do I have enough information?

If the answer to any of these questions is no, then don’t do it.

If you are not the best person for the job, pass it to someone else – the right person, schedule it for another time – the right time, or wait until you have the information you need to fulfill a request.

So what happens if your boss or client comes calling with a task or commitment that fails the test above? Apply it. Redirecting or pushing back, for the right reasons, is not only efficient but also useful for the entire organization.

We want to be helpful, but being overwhelmed with tasks – especially those that waste our time – can make us unhelpful.

So take a hard look at meeting and project requests. Commit to what fits, and pass on the rest.

Have a great week.

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