Stop Over Committing Yourself
Learning how to stop over committing yourself has become a 21st century survival skill! When you stop overcommitting yourself, it frees you up to take best care of the most important things. It gives you time and space to balance your energy and stress levels. To take better care of your physical health. To take better care of your relationships. To simply enjoy a better quality of life.
Doing one or two things really well is far more valuable than attempting to do many things poorly. You get better results and feel rewarded for your efforts. In business, over committing is a recipe for disaster. Prioritise. Be selective and select wisely.
Take some time to thoroughly audit your current commitments. This is the first step to stop over-committing.
Which commitments could be suspended for a while?
Which commitments could be dropped completely?
Which commitments could be managed more efficiently or with less stress? For example, could your older children safely catch the bus or walk to school sometimes instead of being driven everyday?
Could you delegate more at work or home? Could you hold yourself to switching off from work at a particular time each day?
The second step in learning how to stop over committing is to identify what hooks you in. Do you say yes because you underestimate what the new commitment will require from you? Do you say yes because you feel guilty saying no? Do you say yes to get approval or avoid an argument?
Are you already feeling overwhelmed or severely stressed? Knowing how to stop over committing in future is not just desirable. It is essential!
Strategies to Stop Over Committing Yourself
As I wrote above, it is vital to identify your own unique reasons for taking on too much. Do you have a pattern of continually committing yourself to more than you can comfortably manage? The companion post Over Committing Yourself? can help you identify what is going on.
The next step is to put in place some guidelines around what you will commit yourself to in future.
- Before you commit to anything, (big or seemingly small) take time to make a considered choice. Realistically consider what any new commitment will truly mean for you. (And the important people in your life).
- What will it realistically cost you? In time, energy and other resources?
- Overestimate the time and the potential costs or impact of any new commitment.
- Underestimate the time and energy you think you will be able to allocate.
- How will the new commitment impact your partner, children or other key relationships?
- How might it impact your quality of life?
- What are your reasons for taking on this new commitment?
- What do you hope to gain? Would you still do it if this gain did not happen?
- Make sure that regular ‘me’ time is factored into your decision.
- Be comfortable saying ‘no’.
- Stay mindful of what is most important to you. Prioritise your values. Make sure any new commitment is in happy and workable alignment with these values.
- Take this potential commitment into the future and factor in other unexpected variables. Like illness or your partner being away for work. Would you still be happy to take it on?
There are a lot of compelling reasons to stop over committing yourself in the future. Take action now!
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