Today is National Stress Awareness Day and one common cause of stress is simply having too much on your plate. Hi, I'm Beth, and I'm an over-committer. I've reach a point where the demand in my life for all the things I've committed to exceeds my resources. My time, money, sanity, patience or ability to truly juggle it all.
How many of us suffer from over-committal suicide? We become the "yes man" and all of the sudden there are more colors on our calendar than a crayola box.
Sometimes we get wrapped up in the one thing to the next to notice that we are over-stressed. So why do we do this to ourselves?
We love the honeymoon phase of projects.
Starting projects is fun, new and exciting. It's easy to say Yes. The fact is that as the project goes on, you don't see results or things get more difficult, we bow out. Seeing projects through to completion is a skill you have to develop and practice. It doesn't come automatically for most people. Like a marriage, you need to get past the honeymoon phase, see through "for better or for worse" and fall in love with FINISHING the projects. Its there, your reap what you sew.
You aren't doing enough already.
Something I've been realizing is that I've somehow associated my level of importance with the amount of things on my schedule. It's the trap I've built and continually get sucked into. You look back at your week and think "what did I accomplish?" When we think its not enough we commit to more to somehow balance it out or "get enough done"
You are afraid of success.
Sounds ridiculous right? But think about it. What if you went ALL IN on just one thing? The fear of this question itself is what keeps us over-committing. We can't be held responsible for failing if we aren't "all in" right? We all want to be "comfortable". If we focus in on something that could accelerate us forward, how scary is that. With dozens of commitments you create an excuse for not leveling up.
This is probably hard to hear and hard to say as I'm probably one of the biggest offenders, but my journey of personal growth has been helping me embrace my true reality. While I often thrive under pressure and have become so accustom to having to be so scheduled there is no time to slack, I have also found myself falling into the burnout zone. So when it comes to over committing, you need to figure out how you are going to balance your time, where your priorities are at and what will help best manage your stress.
Here's how we fix it.
Set Limits and Stick To it.
have constantly felt the need to schedule every minute of every day. I make to do lists that WAY exceed the actual amount of time I have. I have started "time blocking" things like "family time" with no distractions, no phones etc and "me time" which can mean a workout, a brunch with friends or time to read a book. It helps me set the expectation and then not feel guilty about avoiding something else because everything has it's time. If anything else comes up, it simply just "won't fit into the schedule".
Say No and Zip It.
We don't own anyone a lengthy explanation. Why we can't simply say "no" is beyond me but there is no need to detail every reason why (or even a few extras) that you need to give someone you are rejecting. Keeping things to yourself can also avoid someone trying to pick apart your reasoning and trying to convince you otherwise. "Sorry, I'm washing my hair".
Seek Wise Counsel.
I often times talk things through with my dad. Sometimes giving air to it alone helps me reason but he's a "trusted adviser" and provides logical, unbiased advice. You can gain some outside perspective that gets beyond your own internal thought cycle that could me creating your dilemmas. If you have to, practice your "no" game.
I have a planner and a "planner pen" Color coordinating helps me keeps my schedule and commitments as well as my kids in line and helps me to visualize my schedule and what's actually possible. Rachel Hollis talked about a "planner evaluation" today in she goes back through her planner and makes a list of "worked great" and "needs to go" based on how those commitments served her. Eye opening!
Ladies, stress can be very damaging to your health. It messes with your cycle, your skin, your sleep and your immune system. Stress is an expression of the body's natural instinct to protect itself from potentially harmful situations but long time frames in this response zone can be very damaging. If part of your stress is from over-committing, work through these 4 steps to help you stay MODERATELY committed, especially through the holidays!