When in a Dilemma to Choose Between Two Tasks..

Every week, I write an article to share my learning or discovery during my startup journey. Here is the link to my reasons for penning these articles for myself and for many others like me.

Today I spent some time in a dilemma on whether to work on “Task F” or “Task M.”

One of my friends reached out to me for a small help this weekend. He was creating a stock tracker on Google Sheets. He got stuck in an excel formula, as it was throwing an error, which he could not resolve. He was not from a software development background. So, he thought that an IT person would know the solution, and that was the reason he called me for help.

As he shared the problem, I did not have an immediate answer. But as I had worked quite a bit with Excel, I was confident that I could solve this problem.

The only catch in this situation was that I had to spend an hour on this problem. I assured my friend that I would investigate this problem soon. But during the day, I got busy with my work and completely forgot to check it.

My friend called me again. While seeing his name flashing on my phone, I cursed myself for not checking his task. He reiterated the problem and showed his helplessness in not being able to find a solution. It seemed he was badly stuck in this problem and could not make any progress on his project.

After listening to him, I felt guilty about not prioritizing his work. I reassured him that I would check his problem and share the solution by the end of the day.

After putting the phone down, my dilemma started. I already had a lot of tasks on my plate to complete for the day. Working on this friend’s task means postponing my other planned tasks to tomorrow. But deferring them for another day would cause a delay in my project.

I wanted to help my friend not just because he has been helping me a lot in the past. But also because the problem he was facing was related to my domain. Therefore, it felt like my duty towards my professional self to resolve his doubts or issues.

After deliberating for a while, I picked task F. I moved task M to the next day.

As expected, it took me less than an hour to find the solution to his problem. First, I simulated the Google Sheet problem he faced, at my end and then solved it. Finally, I sent the resolution to him via a WhatsApp message. He thanked me for the help and mentioned that he would check the solution on his end.

Hopefully, this will help him move ahead to the next steps in his project.

The primary factor that helped me come out of my earlier dilemma of working on my friend’s or my tasks was the commitment I made to him over the phone. I had told him to send the solution by the end of today.

I remembered the words of a business coach. He said that “We should be congruent to our words.” His words reverberated in my ears and helped me in choosing “Task F(riend ) over “Task M(e).

When you say you will Do something and don’t do it, you Teach others (including yourself) that you cannot be Trusted.

I strongly feel that every entrepreneur should be congruent to their words. We should always do what we say — whether committed to others or ourselves. This behavior would go a long way in building our credibility. Especially during the initial days of our startup journey, when we make a lot of commitments to ourselves.

It is not an easy task to remain congruent to our words every day, for every week. But this is also our stepping-stone to bring out our tenacity. If we can fulfill the commitments made by us — made to us, it would be much easier to fulfill our obligations to our customers too.

To be Authentic, you have to be Congruent in what you Think, Say & Do.

Wishing everyone a great week and hope you stay congruent to your words this week & every week.

The next article will be published at weekly intervals. If you like my article please give me a follow 😇 or simply send me some claps and feedback.

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Anju Aggarwal

Anju Aggarwal

A budding entrepreneur journalling her in-progress startup journey. Expertise in Products, projects & Process management in the IT domain.