In today’s oh-so-busy society, an overflowing to-do list is commonplace and even worthy of boasting. The frequent reply to “How are you?” is “Busy!” It seems like there are always more things to add to my list of obligations, and some items have lingered there for months.

Jim Coyle, CEO of Nexus Business Solutions, wrote this in his blog, and it made me cringe: A to-do is a promise.

So those things I never seem to get enough time to do, that I don’t ever schedule time for on my calendar? I guess I either never made those promises, or I am okay with breaking them.

Thinking of a commitment as a promise changes the whole equation for me. I’d never dream of telling a person that I’d do something, then just dropping the ball without a word. Can I apply the same to a to-do that I’ve willingly taken on?

If a to-do is a promise, then I will do my darnedest to get them done or renegotiate with my team about the expectation. And I’ll schedule time on my calendar for all my real priorities, because I know if I don’t allot the time to do it, it won’t magically get done. Most importantly, I’ll think carefully before taking things on, because not completing what I say I’ll do is an integrity issue, not an I-just-didn’t-get-to-it issue.

“Those that are most slow in making a promise are the most faithful in the performance of it.” Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Do you have a foolproof method for committing only to what you can really do? Comment below or message us.

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash.