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Job Creep and Over-delivery, Where Are You the Problem?

Job creep and over-delivery

When we enjoy what we do and are passionate about it, there is a tendency to overdeliver.  Even more so if you work in a helping profession, manage people or you’re self-employed.

We all want to progress, evolve, and grow in our role, within the organisation and obviously to climb the ladder. Overreaching and challenging yourself to find your limits and raise your ceiling is a good thing.  But overdelivering can’t become the norm, because an 8-hour day turns into a 9, a 9-hour day turns into a 10 and before you know it you are overdelivering by 10 hours a week, that’s a 40-hour work week every month! Now you can divide your monthly salary by 5, not 4.

Once every so often is ok, but consistent over-delivery leads to apathy, frustration, and feelings of being taken advantage of.  We are often complicit in this, especially if we say yes to everything.  The lethal combination of passion and people-pleasing is to be feared!

We end up getting in our own way and holding back our personal and professional development by over-pushing, overreaching consistently and not creating/respecting our own boundaries.

Creating your own boundaries relates to things like your working hours, your break time during the day, switching off, not bringing work home with you, and not putting or allowing any additional work to be added to your plate. This can be especially challenging to do when you work remotely, manage a team of people, and work in a performance-driven environment with tight deadlines.  This is sometimes easier said than done with senior leaders and managers who expect you to deliver over and above your contracted hours.

These boundaries allow you to turn up and deliver high performance daily, a football player cannot sprint for the entire match, if they did, they would not last the full match let alone the season. We are no different as leaders and high performers, there are times when we need to sprint, jog, walk and completely stop. It is in fact essential for sustainable high performance.

A great metaphor relating to protecting your boundaries is what access you allow someone to have into your life.  Consider the example of someone contacting you out of hours, if you check or respond to the email/message/call you are essentially letting someone into your home to come and sit with you on your sofa.

It’s an interesting thought!

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