Blogger’s Note: The whole idea behind these “Second Third” posts can be found here.
So I should technically be writing Week 14 of this series, which proved to be far more interesting in my head than it appears on screen. This is last week’s entry — exactly a week late and, ironically enough, about the tendency I have to overcommit myself.
Several natural but unfortunate tendencies contribute to my inclination to promise more than I can deliver:
- First, I tend toward optimism: I can do it, things will work out, stars will align, etc.
- Second, I’m horrible at estimating the time a thing will take.
- Third, I tend to expand into the space I’m given, leaving no room for error or delay.
- Fourth, I like what I like, and when I like it, I want to be involved. I say yes more than I ought, and don’t like to back down. Enthusiasm + pride + a touch of the martyr = unrealistic deadlines and self-imposed misery.
- Fifth, I’m no manager. I like to do more than to delegate and direct, and filling someone in on a project (and then relinquishing control) nearly always seems waaaaay more difficult and time-consuming that just doing it myself.
Multiply these tendencies across multiple projects and decisions per day, and you can see A) why I’m a week late on this post and have blogged almost nothing besides these “weekly” Second Third posts since I promised to do them; B) why, when I look more than a few hours ahead on any given day, I feel nauseous; and C) why I’ve yet to teach my children any number of things I already knew how to do when I was their age.
This cannot stand. No is such a clear and easy word; I must pronounce it more frequently. I can’t blow my Second Third on ill-considered obligations I take on myself.