Before taking on a new project, evaluate status of current ones

Here is another valuable Management Tip of the Day from Harvard Business Review. To sign up for a free subscription to any/all HBR newsletters, please click here.

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It’s important to challenge yourself with new projects, but taking on more tasks may require you to let go of others. Constantly evaluate your current slate of projects to know what else you have time for.

o For each task, ask yourself: Does completing this project still make sense? Am I the right person to work on it? Would it be more realistic to push this project out to another quarter?

o You can also create a chart to help you quickly assess where each project stands. Include columns for activity name, type of project, time required, professional importance, and the personal satisfaction you get from doing it.

o Use this data to determine which commitments to hold onto and which to let go of, so you can make room to take on new challenges. Of course, depending on your position, you may not be able to decide what you can stop doing.

But if you’ve taken the time to step back and consider the big picture, you’ll at least have the information to discuss what’s possible with your boss and colleagues.

Adapted from “Before You Set New Goals, Think About What You’re Going to Stop Doing,” by Elizabeth Grace Saunders

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