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Is Overcommitment Keeping You From What You Want?



If overcommitment were a person, it would be a nagging, overbearing mom like the ones on TV shows, who are constantly nagging you to do all the things and if you don’t well, you’re just a bad, selfish child (person) who doesn’t appreciate anyone else. She always builds you up because she believes you can do anything, but you end up feeling like a failure because no matter how amazing you are, you still only get 24 hours in a day.


It's forever frustrating.


Overcommitment is a problem that affects many of us, especially those of us who have busy schedules or who want to achieve a lot in a short period of time.


Overcommitment happens when you take on too many tasks or responsibilities and find yourself struggling to keep up with it all. Eventually, as you may already know, this leads to stress, burnout, and getting less done.





So WHY Do We Overcommit?


Many of us over-commit because we have a need and drive to achieve. We want to get it all done as fast as possible AND we want to be the best that we can be at everything as soon as we start it.


Another reason we overcommit is because we don’t know how to set limits. As a matter of fact, we suck at it. Which, according to psychologists, is one of the biggest problems high-achieving women face. Poor limit setting is another way of saying, you have trouble saying no. A co worker calls for a favor, you do it even if you know you don’t have time. Kids, mom, spouse, friends? You have trouble saying no to them too. Probably because as girls we were socialized to be accommodating, and helpful. If you weren’t either of these things, you were self-centered, stuck-up, or selfish.


As adults, we’ve been trained to believe the busier we are the better we are. Many women walk around with their planners busting from the sides feeling proud that they’re doing so much -just like all the women they admire on social media who seem to always get ALL THE THINGS done.


But ask yourself two questions:

  • How many people have been successful with overcommitment?

  • Have you ever let anyone down- including yourself?


Those answers should be enough to make you want to stop.


What Overcommitment COSTS Us


Overcommitting keeps us from getting what we want. It keeps us from creating the life we want. We do more for others than we do for ourselves. Also , we’re quick to dismiss our own goals and rush to help others achieve theirs (this was my classic way of both procrastinating and overcommitting).


After doing all this, we leave little energy for ourselves and then either begin to believe we “can’t” do it or we can’t “trust ourselves” to do it.


Also, saying “yes” all the time is not a sign of being nice. In fact, I would go as far to say that it’s being mean- even selfish.


Yes SELFISH- the thing you are trying to avoid appearing like is what you are ACTUALLY coming off as, because in the end you can’t help everyone and when you aren’t honest with others about that, you’re allowing them to count on you when you don’t have the capacity to be counted on.


No one likes that.


It can ruin relationships with others, and far worse, your relationship with yourself.


It’s time to be realistic about what you can realistically accomplish in a given amount of time.


Here are some tips to help you stop overcommitment

  1. Prioritize your goals and commitments.

The first step in avoiding overcommitment is to prioritize your goals and commitments. Take some time to think about what is most important to you and what you want to achieve in the short-term and long-term. Make a list of your goals and commitments, and then rank them in order of importance. This will help you focus on what matters most and avoid taking on too many tasks or responsibilities that are not essential.


2. Learn to say NO.


One of the biggest causes of overcommitment is a tendency to say yes to everything. While it can be tempting to say yes to every request or opportunity that comes your way, this can quickly lead to overcommitment. Learn to say no when you need to, and don’t feel guilty about it. It's better to say no upfront than to take on too much and risk burnout.


3. Set realistic deadlines


Another way to avoid overcommitment is to set realistic deadlines for your goals and commitments. Be honest with yourself about how much time you have available and what you can realistically accomplish in that time. Give yourself some breathing room, and don’t try to cram too much into a short period of time. Setting realistic deadlines will help you avoid feeling overwhelmed and will allow you to focus on doing your best work.


4. Take breaks and rest.


Taking breaks and resting is essential to avoiding overcommitment. Make sure to schedule regular breaks throughout your day and take time to rest and recharge when you need it. This will help you to stay focused and productive, and will help you avoid burning out.


5. Be flexible.


Finally, it’s important to be flexible and willing to adjust your goals and commitments as needed. Life is unpredictable, and unexpected events can throw off your plans. Be willing to adapt and adjust your goals and commitments as needed, and don’t be too hard on yourself if things don’t go according to plan.



By avoiding overcommitment, you can avoid major sources of stress and burnout. Remember to take care of yourself, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. With these tips, you can begin to achieve your goals and create the life you desire while maintaining your physical and mental health.


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