Pants on Fire

(Author’s Note:  Today’s post is inspired by the song, “Manic Monday,” by The Bangles.  I know, I probably should’ve published this piece on a Monday, but Sunday works, too.)

…I can’t be late

‘Cause then I guess I just won’t get paid

These are the days

When you wish your bed was already made

 

It’s just another manic Monday

I wish it was Sunday

‘Cause that’s my fun day

My I don’t have to run day

It’s just another manic Monday

Like so many busy professionals, I have a tendency to overcommit.  If a project or an initiative that I believe in needs a champion or a facilitator or a manager or a chairperson, I have a habit of leaping before I look to serve in that leadership capacity.  It would all be well and good if I didn’t take on so many assignments – all at once!  But, as they say, “when it rains, it pours,” and sometimes I get in over my head in terms of time commitments and the ability to get things done in the thorough and excellent way I prefer. Can you relate?

We must learn to stop this behavior!  When quality matters and reputations are on the line, it is important to manage time, manage expectations and manage resources.  Rather than always flying by the seats of our pants, what if we considered the following:

  • Think quality, not quantity. Deliver high-end results.  Don’t take on more than you can handle.  If you can’t get the job done the way it deserves to get done, it is not fair to anyone for you to accept the assignment.  Pick the projects that you feel passionate about and for which you have adequate time to commit.
  • Learn to say, “No.” If you are not energized about a project and/or if you simply don’t have time for it, express your appreciation for being considered, but learn to decline the opportunity.  If you like, you can be a cheerleader from the sidelines instead.
  • Enlist the assistance of others. What do you have to do that only you can do?  Do those things.  For all other responsibilities, delegate!  Those around you want to help, they want to be part of the action, so let them.  Assigning tasks and sharing responsibilities is a great way to get things done and get others on board to foster esprit de corps and teamwork.
  • Communicate and be honest. With yourself. With others.  If you cannot get something done the way you wanted to or if you are going to miss a deadline, let your stakeholders know ASAP so that you can come up with a new plan.
  • Protect your reputation. Reputations are earned over time and can be destroyed overnight.  Take care to manage yours so that when you are not around everyone says only the nicest things about you – or at least ensure they have the utmost respect for who you are and what you are capable of achieving.

If you have taken on too much, start by taking a deep breath.  Come up with a plan of action to do the work, engage others to help and get going!  It’s just another Manic Monday!

Have to catch an early train

Got to be to work by nine

And if I had an air-o-plane

I still couldn’t make it on time

‘Cause it takes me so long

Just to figure out what I’m gonna wear

Blame it on the train

But the boss is already there

It’s just another manic Monday

(P.S. – Happy, Happy 70th Birthday to my wonderful, sweet Daddy Max who always takes on way too much, but has a knack for getting done everything he said he would… with excellence and aplomb.  Looking at you, it’s clear, 70 must be the new 40.  I Love You, Pa!  Today’s post is for you.)

4 thoughts to “Pants on Fire”

  1. Great stuff as always, Alana. Always stunned when I see people compromise their reputations for short-term perceived gain.

  2. Love this song! But, even as a kid I didn’t understand why she didn’t put her clothes out at night & get up earlier. I am a little Type A…lol

  3. Saying no is difficult with so many inspirational people in our town. But honesty is so critical to starting a mutual benefit. While “what’s in it for me” seems to be the prevailing reason for many, finding the quality, “what’s in it for Us” allows you to hit all five of your point. Thanks again Alana!

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