Ever felt like you just don’t have enough time to give to the things and people in your life who demand it? I would go out on a limb and say that we have all felt that way at one time or another. Maybe you feel that way right now. I know that I have felt that way more times than I care to remember.
I find my self at this place of tension often. Being an extrovert, I love spending face-to-face time with people. Nothing brings more joy to my life than just being with people. Because of this, I usually end up juggling multiple commitments that can be quite draining, sometimes leaving me wondering if I’ve offered anything good of myself to others.
The problem is that when you overcommit is that it is a game that no one wins. People who overcommit themselves think they are doing people a favor by giving them a portion of their time. Often the mindset is that if I at least see them and spend any amount of time or attention to them I am doing them a favor. Are you really doing them a favor? The reality is that if a person is overcommitted, they usually give the people they are meeting with only part of their focus, energy, and attention. They do this because they are always thinking of that next problem or next person they need to try to fit into the schedule. Having only a portion of the focus, energy, and attention of a person is not a benefit at all. In fact, it can be harmful. A person would often times prefer not to meet with that person at all instead of only getting a portion of them.
Ironically, the person that suffers the most is the person who is overcommiting themselves. They never actually get fully engaged with anyone or anything when they are overcommitted. They spend their lives only giving portions of themselves and not all of it. They will never reach their full potential because they are not utilizing all that is available to them. It can lead to a lowered sense of self and worth and can be much more destructive than it appears on the surface.
Overcommitment really is a game that no one wins.
So what is the remedy for being overcommitted?
Here are 3 ways to relieve the tension of overcommitment in you life.
When it comes to your schedule, you must prioritize. Let’s be honest, some things are just more important than others. Only you can know what needs to come first. You need to prioritize all the things that you need to do from the most important to the least important. Once you do that, start at the top with the most important things and work your way down the list. The key is to not keep shuffling you list around or you will be right back where you started. Ultimately, you need to make sure you’re giving appropriate time to your loved ones and your responsibilities. Keep this in mind when making your list.
Just say no
Trust me, no one struggles with saying no more than me. It is never fun to tell someone know. I know I have a strong desire to please people and when I tell people no, I feel like I am letting them down. But one thing I am slowly learning is that it’s OK to say no sometimes. Give it a try. It’s quite liberating. In genuine relationships, the other person will truly understand your need to say no sometimes. Besides, if you care about someone, you are doing them more of a favor by saying no at times than only giving them part of yourself.
Set aside time for yourself
Selflessness is a good thing, but sometimes you just need time for yourself. You’ll always be able to give others the best of yourself when you’re tested refreshed, and relaxed. So go ahead…take some leisure time for yourself. People and things will still be there when you return.
Overcommitment is something that will be a lifelong struggle. I know it is for me. Hopefully by thinking about and doing these 3 ways to reduce overcommitment, you will find that you and the people you interact with, will benefit greatly in the end.