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April 22, 2024

Are You Overcommitted?

Listen Now:

I don’t know if it’s just me, but people seem busier than ever. There’s no shortage of things to do or get done, so much so that sometimes it gets to the point where it feels too overwhelming to tackle any of it. Unfortunately this causes us to get further behind on what’s already too much, perpetuating the problem.

To be overcommitted is simply the result of not having enough time to do what you feel required to do. And there’s a cost to it. In order to accommodate the lack of time we find ourselves making compromises that impact the quality and consistency of our work.

If you’re feeling overcommitted yourself, like you’re juggling too much and things are starting to drop, there are two ways you can intervene to create more sustainability in your life.

The first thing you can do is set better boundaries so that you take on less.

One version of this involves getting better at saying “no”, and not stretching yourself beyond capacity. In my opinion, unconsciously we add to our commitment list because we believe that getting more done means that we’re more productive, which is fulfilling. I’d argue that wanting to be productive is not the actual end-goal and is misunderstood for wanting to be more intentional about what we do.

Of course, not all of this is self-imposed. There are other people who put things on your plate. Co-workers, friends, and family will seek your support. However, it’s up to you whether you accept it or not, and having the courage to enforce a new boundary interrupts the pattern and leads to a new result.

The second thing you can do is create efficiencies in your life.

To become more efficient means your create more output from less energy and time input. The best way that I’ve found to create efficiencies is by developing systems which streamline the process of getting the same or better result with less time, effort, and waste.

Ultimately, being overcommitted is a life-design problem where the math of your life gives an answer that is too big. If you want to change the answer to something more manageable, you need to change the inputs. And you can do so by decreasing the amount that you’re doing or doing it more efficiently. 

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