How To Stop Over-Committing

Time is so valuable. Once we spend our time, it’s something we can never get back.

And yet so many of us are careless with how we spend our time. We’re treating time like it’s penny candy at Halloween.

We don’t keep track of it and we over-commit ourselves to activities that drain our energy.

Why do we do this? What can we do to stop over-committing.

Our commitment locks us in

Image via Michael Coghlan

With the new year getting into full swing, I believe it’s the perfect time to talk about our propensity to over-commit ourselves to causes.

If we want this year to be our best year ever, we’ve got to consider our time valuable and begin taking back our time.

Why We Over-Commit

There are many valid reasons why we over-commit. All of them good reasons and yet all of them hinder our path to success.

We may over-commit because:

We feel like no one else will do the work

We feel like we’re the only ones who will do a good job

We feel like it’s our duty to show up to an event

We feel the pain of rejection and don’t want others to feel the same rejection.

You see, the reasons for over-committing are all valid. We don’t want to hurt the feelings of others. We don’t want to reject others. We don’t want a job to be done poorly.

But our over-committing is damaging us. We’re killing ourselves burning the candle at both ends to satisfy others’ demands.

We can’t keep doing this.

How To Stop Over-Committing

Be warned, the path to becoming a person who doesn’t over-commit is hard. It’s fraught with dangers and feelings of disappoint.

Yet, in the end, our choice to shop over-committing is well worth it. We regain what we’ve lost and so much more.

Want to know how to not over-commit? View your non-commitment in these ways:

Your decline doesn’t say you don’t value your friendship: A big reason we get over-committed is because we feel like we’ve got to be there for every occasion in our friends’ lives. We think if we don’t show up, we’re not a friend.

You know that’s true but it’s what you feel. Heck, it’s what I feel.

It’s hard to not over-commit in this area because we value our friends so much. But you know what? When you decline an invitation from your friend, they’ll understand. They’ve probably declined an event invite from you.

Stop worrying about it and move on.

The fear of missing out makes you miss out on life: Another reason we over-commit is because we fear we’ll miss out on something great. The FOMO begins to consume us so we say yes to anything and anyone that comes our way. The calendar fills and you realize you have no time left in your day.

Sure, we’ll miss out on great things if we never commit to anything but we also miss out by committing all of our time to the whims of those around us. We give up our time to obtain opportunities.

Yet you’re missing out on real life. You miss out on seeing your baby boy take his first steps. You miss out on helping your neighbor fix his car. You miss out on spending quality time with your wife.

Either way you’ll miss out on something. Stop over-committing and make sure you’re not missing out on the important things in life.

Others will show up: Many people over-commit because they feel they’re the only ones who will show up and do what needs to be done. I’ve felt this way more times than I can count with our youth group.

Sometimes we think we’re so important and the show won’t go on without us. The truth is we’re really not needed and others will step up and fill the gaps that we leave.

I saw this when I chose to be late to our youth group and attended a Muskegon young urban professionals gathering.

Was I missed at the youth group? For sure. Did youth group go on without me? For sure.

Don’t think you’re the only thing holding an event together. There’s a good chance you’re not going to destroy something by not being there.

To stop over-committing, we’ve got to begin changing our mindsets on how we view our lives. We can train ourselves to realize that life doesn’t revolve around us. If we’re not there, life will go on.

Yeah, we might miss out on some cool events but we miss out on great things because we’ve over-committed our times to other endeavors.

Let’s begin to choose the things that are truly important.

Question: What do you need to stop committing to? Let’s talk about it in the comments section below.

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