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How To Break The Cycle of Over-committing

Are you guilty of over-committing?

It’s easy to get in a cycle of over-committing. How often do you find yourself saying “yes” to taking on an extra commitment at work, at home or in your community, when you really want to say “no”? We don’t want to disappoint others, so often we take on extra things that might not be in our own best interest.

By definition, over-committing means to obligate ones self beyond the ability for fulfillment. This means by biting off more than you can chew, you’re actually doing a disservice to yourself and to the action or person to which you are committing. The key is finding a balance between meeting your own needs and helping other people meet theirs.

Saying Yes Also Means Saying No

Every time we say “yes” to a request for our time, we are also saying “no” to anything else we might have done with that time. For example, when you say “yes” to another volunteer position or another project at work, it may mean that you are saying “no” to more time with your family or time for yourself. It is important to keep the trade-off in mind before you over-commit to something.

It’s not easy learning to say “no” to things, especially if you’re in the habit of over-committing. Here are a few tips that might help the next time you find yourself in this kind of situation.

Saying “no” can be beneficial both personally and professionally if done thoughtfully. Need a little more inspiration to start saying “no”? In this short video, Debbie provides tips on saying “no” as a time management strategy.

It’s easy to over-commit, but how can you break the cycle?

The key to figuring out the right level of commitment is to learn what works best for you. You can do this by:

  • being clear on your values and identifying your priorities
  • setting boundaries that keep your priorities in mind
  • remembering that you don’t need to have a reason to say “no”

If you could use help with learning strategies to help you identify priorities and avoid over-committing, contact us to learn more about our productivity consulting.



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