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Managing Your Expectations

I sit on the board of an organization and at the last meeting found myself speaking with another board member named Standolyn Robertson. Standolyn is also a business owner and our conversation was about managing expectations... both ours and our clients. She said something that is very true--'It is about using our knowledge and expertise to foresee and side-step roadblocks, revise unrealistic timelines and debunk myths.' And I couldn't agree more.

But there are times when I am not there to coach a client and it seems prudent to share information with you on how to manage your own set of expectations when it comes to improving your organizing or time management skills.

Foresee and side-step roadblocks If you have tried to improve your skills in the past, but have not been successful over the short or long-term, step back and think about the types of roadblocks that interfered with your success. Was time committed to your calendar? Did you lack information? Did you lack of support? Wrong tools? Did you even have ownership of your goal? Or maybe it was perfectionism that got in the way. As I have said in the past and continue to say, the goal is to be successful...not perfect. Identifying past roadblocks will help you become more aware of them so that you may be better prepared to overcome them and reach your goal.

Revise unrealistic timelines Your organizing and time management challenges didn't happen over night and they won't be solved overnight. Give yourself some leeway.

Select some milestone dates, put them on you calendar and revise them only if absolutely necessary. For example, "Have an organized office by 12/31/05." In between these milestones select smaller tasks that you will do to build to your milestone date. For example, "Organize the desktop" or "Organize a filing drawer". Smaller activities routinely spaced apart help lead to your milestone date.

Debunk myths Maybe there are some myths floating around in your mind. Things like, 'touch a piece of paper only once', 'someone else can organize my workspace and it will work for me', or my all time favorite...'I don't have time to get organized'. These are old, ineffective recordings that are repeating in your head. Toss them aside and replace them with something that moves you forward. For example, 'I can find paper, time and peace of mind if I begin NOW.'

Learn to manage your expectations and ultimate your success.

Copyright 2005 Cynthia Kyriazis. All rights reserved.

About the author:
Cynthia Kyriazis is an organizing and time management consultant, trainer, speaker, coach and author with over 20 years management experience in multi-unit corporations. Organize it, a division of Productivity Partners, Inc. is an organizational training firm she founded in 1995 and has been serving Fortune 500 clients ever since. Cynthia works with business and their employees to help improve performance and realize productivity gains.


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