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When is Enough, Enough?

I'm generally a firm believer of saying "yes" to anything that comes my way. It could be my nature that just decides that there's got to be a way to get everything done, recalling that "one time" when I actually *did* get everything done and assuming (naturally) that I'll be able to replicate this again.

It hardly ever works that way. Sure, you gain some time by having everyone feel great about everything that's on your plate, but eventually the bill comes due. Either you kill yourself trying to get the projects done, or you fall short and no one is happy.

As you move up the ladder, an interesting paradox emerges. There are insatiable demands for your time or to "get your eyes" on something or to include you in a meeting or review cycle or project plan. But that's actually where you need to do less to win.

You can't make me do it.

Sure you need to roll up your sleeves and help out. And sure when your boss needs you to put together a presentation for their main stage keynote speech later this week you're dropping everything to get that done.

But outside of that, the key to being really good is to know when enough is enough. Knowing which projects are really important and which can be deferred. Which initiatives impact you and you'll be evaluated on and which are honestly someone elses problems. And finally, which you can do really well, and which will be half-assed things that you push across the line and forget.

Increasingly you need to concentrate on the critical few projects that will drive your success--and hopefully, your team's and company's as well. Doing more won't get you there. Doing less will.

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