In today’s video, we’re going to talk about how to stop overcommitting your time.
So, someone approaches you for a new a new commitment, a new idea something they want to involve you in and you automatically say yes. Now you’ve committed yourself again and if you’ve been doing this a lot you’ve probably over-committed yourself. So how do you stop this over-committing in future?
One of the first steps is to don’t automatically ever say yes. Always build in a waiting period. Always build in a period where you can analyze the new commitment and see if it’s going to fit with what you’re doing. So tell people, oh I’ll get back to you in 24 hours or 48 hours or whatever the number is you need and that way that will let you check your existing commitments. Or say I need to check my calendar and I’ll get back to you.
This pause gives you a chance to think it through. Is this new project really fitting with what you want to do? Is it working towards your long-term goals and objectives? What does it replace? If if you’re taking on something new but you’re already over-committed what else are you going to let go of?
The next thing is to make sure whenever someone approaches you with a new commitment that you find out what is the actual time commitment. How long will it take if someone wants you to write a book for example? You need to work out how many hours is this book actually going to take to write. Or maybe someone wants you to create a video or someone wants you to serve on a non-profit board of directors. Find out how many meetings and workload is involved each month for this nonprofit board before you commit.
In addition, you need a really good estimate on all of your existing projects. One of my clients did a fantastic spreadsheet where she had put together her upcoming load for teaching courses at the University, her commitment to writing a book, and her commitment to creating two new workshops. Unfortunately, all the numbers when we added them together were more than double and probably close to triple a full-time workload. So obviously something has to give. When it’s laid out in a spreadsheet like that it’s obvious that numbers are not going to work so we were able to work with her to identify what was truly important.
So that’s how to stop over-committing.
- Don’t automatically say yes – build in a waiting period.
- Find out for sure what the new commitment is going to be.
- Make sure you know all of your existing time commitments so that you can compare and see if this new one is more important or fits your objectives or is going to work at all.
- Make sure that you say no to commitments that don’t fit your long-term outcomes and objectives
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