How to “do it all”

Many people, including myself, bemoan their inability to “do it all.” Sometimes this comes from an intrinsic desire to do more at work or in life. Other times this is an external push from stakeholders who want too much. In either case, I take the same approach to fighting back this feeling that I need to do everything: I write up a good list of priorities.

Here’s what happens as soon as I write everything down on my list:

  1. I intrinsically shift the conversation (whether it be internal or external) from a binary “can I do everything” to a more optimistic, nuanced “where do I start?” This shift can really help people get excited about smaller milestones and getting a lot less done than they initially asked for.
  2. I (and my stakeholders) can feel more secure about where I, or my team, spend time. I’ve weighed all the potential options, and made a conscious decision about the relative importance of each task. If I don’t get to everything, at least I’ve done the most valuable work.
  3. It becomes crystal clear just how much I’m hoping to accomplish. No wonder it feels like a lot, it probably is! This makes it much easier to give myself a break, even if others won’t.
  4. I feel empowered! Heck yeah I just turned around a tough situation to ensure I deliver the best results on my own terms.

Of course I can’t actually do everything, but my prioritized list and shift in mindset make me feel like I can do anything.

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I'm a senior technical product manager who loves learning about systems and understanding how technical details impact users' experience.

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Leah Hurwich Adler

I'm a senior technical product manager who loves learning about systems and understanding how technical details impact users' experience.