This year, I led various projects consuming substantially more hours than originally anticipated. Some of them left me feeling exhausted. Yet, I wouldn’t let my personal life be stopped by it. Meetings with friends, participating in races and playing golf, studying for professional certifications, volunteering and travelling to fascinating destinations, you name it. I didn’t want anything to be put on hold or, worse, be cancelled.

Unfortunately, being overcommitted torments me. It makes me juggle my numerous activities and leaves me tired and frustrated. I feel bad for not having given each their deserved focus. After all, a meeting with a friend for a coffee rarely lasts only 10 minutes.

There are different strategies to avoid to being overcommitted.

  1. Identify how you spend your day. You can colour out the wheel of productivity and quickly see how you organise your day.
  2. Know your goals and priorities. What’s important to you should be what you spend your time on. Do you spend your day according to your goals and priorities?
  3. Re-evaluate your available time. Determine if you have taken on too much already. Is how you’re spending your time fitting your priorities (see point 2).
  4. Don’t be Ms. Fix-It-All. You don’t have to do it. Learn to delegate (e.g. get a cleaner to free you up from housework) and focus on the activities you’d like to pursue.
  5. Set boundaries and learn to say “No”. There are so many ways you can decline an offer. You don’t need to explain yourself and can let the other person gently know that their proposal doesn’t work for you at this time.
  6. Think of the consequences if you are committing to any additional projects or activities. Will it be a short-term sacrifice or will you potentially suffer long-term?

Marshall Goldsmith describes overcommitment as a happiness killer. What do you think? Leave a comment below.

Until next time,

Leave a Comment