If you’ve heard me speak on time management, you’ve probably heard me talk about the 3 D’s: delete, delegate, and delay. These are three ways to free up time in your schedule. Some items on your to-do list can simply be deleted and chances are, no one will notice. In other cases, you can delegate tasks to others. A third set of items need to be done—and need to be done by you—but you can delay them without creating additional problems.

I was teaching at a coach training recently and one participant, Harmony Hensley, came up with a 4th D. Deflect: don’t take on anything new. Sometimes others will try to add to your to-do list, but that doesn’t mean you have to take it on. Deflect is a defensive tactic that helps you avoid new accumulations. When you’re considering taking on new responsibilities, it’s important to think about the priorities you have on your plate already.