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Expectations

There is a quote that I love that says, “Frustration is mismanaged expectations” and I couldn’t agree more. There are some many things in life that cause us frustration OR maybe we are causing others to be frustrated because we are setting their expectations too high. Have you ever:

  • told a friend that you would meet them at a restaurant at 7 p.m., only to show up at 7:15 p.m.
  • told your kids that dinner was going to be ready ‘in a minute’, only what you REALLY meant was 30 minutes
  • told a client that a project was only going to take 3 hours, only to have it take 6

If you are guilty of any of the above, you have caused others in your world frustration. Expectations are a tricky thing because you don’t want to set them too low (especially in your career) because it could translate to less money, fewer promotions or maybe even fewer clients. But on the other hand, if you set the expectations too high and fail to deliver, you will really frustrate and anger coworkers and/or clients and probably lose work and clients.

Managing expectations requires you to KNOW how long it takes you to do things. Which means, you need to have good time management. So, over the course of the next week take a look at your calendar and see how many times you were ‘on time’ for appointments or deadlines. Also, take a look at how many times the other people in your world were ‘on time’. Maybe there are places where you need to be more honest with yourself about the time it takes you to accomplish a task or arrive at a destination. Maybe you need to give yourself a few extra minutes to get out the door in the morning. Or maybe, you need to let your kids watch an episode of Backyardigans when you pick them up for daycare so that you can have an uninterrupted and stress-free 30 minutes to get dinner on the table!

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