Best Practices in Setting Expectations?

This is something I struggle with everyday. I have a bad habit of overestimating how much I can do and like to go 110% with projects. Often, being comprehensive end up backfiring as they often open up for more questions than answers. Then add some emergency ad-hoc requests from people and the whole timeline goes to shit.

Curious what the best practices are in setting expectations and 80/20-ing their work load.

Comments (5)

Sep 26, 2018

underpromise overdeliver
we'd really need more details about your specific situation to say anything more.
If you wanna get kind of philosophical on this, stuff like this often stems from an intrinsic lack of confidence and self-worth. You're too eager to please. Are you good at your work? Do you put in the effort? Then just keep doing that and chill on all the talk you think's gonna make people happy.


Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

    • 1
Sep 26, 2018

Thanks GoldenCinderblock.

More specifically, if you think back to your junior analyst days, how did you balance the vast inflow of requests and the ever changing deadlines of projects?

A lot of my Fund's trades/projects/research timelines gets either pushed, fast tracked, suddenly prioritized, or de-prioritized. But these conversations are almost always back channeled by senior management with limited communication to the junior level.

Now imagine 20 of these going on at the same time of various importance. When one gets fast tracked, the rest are directly impacted. So then some of the deliverables comes down to 80/20-ing and completion over quality - but if the fast tracked timeline was communicated in a timely manner, then the whole process would have been more organized and the product quality better. The mediocre result then becomes a reflection on you.

Anyways, I ramble. Wondering if you have ever been in this situation and how you dealt with it without it reflecting badly on you.

Most Helpful
Sep 26, 2018

I don't work in an office and didn't give a shit when I did, so I can't comment on that. Two points:
-If to management, everything is a priority, I'd say something along the lines of, 'I want to make sure that I'm spending my time doing what's best for the organization. Which of my current tasks/activities should I de-prioritize in order to prioritize XYZ?'
It's respectful and illustrates that your time is finite and you have shit to do already, which management forgets easily.
-Like I said, if you're good at your job and you know you're putting in the effort over the period of time you've agreed to, then just try not to worry about it. People are gonna hustle and bustle and cry about deadlines and act like the world's gonna end if this client doesn't get all his dicks sucked, but at the end of the day, you're going to have a nice dinner and go to sleep and so will everyone else. They don't pay you enough to have anxiety over their shit. Just stay on top of your own shit, do what you can, listen to some podcasts, and go home.


Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

    • 2
Sep 26, 2018

Helpful. Thanks GoldenCinder.

Sep 26, 2018