Lessons I Learned

Confessions: I Need Over-Committers Anonymous

Are there seven steps to give up over-committing your time?

I have been a chronic over-committer from birth.  It has been a problem that has severely stressed my marriage on many levels.  I have a hard time saying “no” because I always feel like I should help.

Recently, we were in an Espresso Minute brainstorm meeting and Nancy (our main writer) brought up over-committing as a topic for an email idea.  The gist of her solution to over committing was to alleviate the immediate pressure and guilt by delaying the opportunity until you have time for it.

In other words your answer is “Not now”.

Sure enough within a week I was asked to be on the board of an organization that I love, contribute to and have benefited from.

I was flattered, intrigued and then overwhelmed all in one second standing right before the director’s hopeful eyes.   And then Nancy’s solution sprang to my mind. I cheerfully explained that I could not serve right now but would consider it again in the Fall after my house renovation and book were complete.

He was great with that.  I walked away feeling totally devoid of guilt and empowered by the fact that I had maintained control of my life…for once!

Of course, I must caution that you should not delay something you don’t ever intend to commit to.  Then again, if they move on and don’t need you anymore that can be a good thing, too!

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