How To Set Realistic Expectations To Get More Done

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Sometimes we need to set realistic expectations in order to get more done. This checklist forms part of a broader set of articles helping you to discover your goals improve your output and to get back on track:

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Setting realistic expectations

Be honest with yourself. Are you being realistic about what you can achieve with the resources and time you’ve got?

If you are anything like me then I’m guessing the answer to that question is no! Don’t worry, we can fix that. Here is a checklist you can follow to help reset your expectations:

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#1 Decide on your top 2 priorities

The first thing you need to understand is what is on your plate. Write down all the big items on your list and prioritise them. You’ll need to make your own assessment of what is a priority,

I’ve had to become more realistic about what I can achieve

I made the mistake of picking up multiple epics worth of work within one quarter without a solid understanding of what was involved (an epic is a large piece of work achieved over multiple sprints). Ultimately, it became pretty obvious this wasn’t sustainable and for this reason I followed the checklist to reset my priorities.

As a result, I was better able to:

  • Regain control over the work
  • De-prioritise an epic that wasn’t driven by a strict deadline (eg. regulatory)
  • Relieve some of the stress & anxiety I was feeling
  • Factor in the time I require to navigate a new organisation, product set & way of working
  • Articulate the exact problem statements I’m working on
  • Improve my communication with my team & stakeholders
  • Identify the very next step and action it for my two priorities – I’ve found that even if I have no idea what I’m doing, if I can achieve the first step it usually opens doors to the rest of the solution

I’d love to hear other people’s tips for setting expectations!

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I'd love to hear what you think!