3 Ways to Avoid Overcommitment

posted in: Time Management 0

Image of phrase "3 Ways to Avoid Overcommitment"Do you regularly overcommit yourself to different appointments, meetings and tasks?

Is your calendar or schedule at the breaking point?

In this post I offer a few tips to help you avoid overcommitment and get your time back in your control.

Put yourself (and your time) first.

You may have work, school or other personal commitment to attend to, but when’s the last time you put a priority on getting the bare bones of your personal affairs in order? By personal affairs, I’m talking about all the unglamorous stuff of daily life: paying bills, going food shopping, doing laundry, cleaning house and so on. If you’re always scrambling to make time to do these tasks, you may want to block out a couple of hours each week so you can get these tasks done.

At the very least, you’ll have crossed off a few items from your list and your affairs will be a little bit more tidy than previously. On the other hand, if you try to squeeze something into your schedule that cuts into any of your basic living essentials, you’ll have immediate proof the only person you’re treating poorly is yourself.

Consult your calendar before committing to anything.

Saying yes to a social function or meeting because you *think* you might have time available is a recipe for a scheduling disaster. Stop offering your time blindly without confirming whether or not you’ve already got something scheduled! It literally takes a few seconds to glance at your schedule, even if you’re 85% sure you don’t have something scheduled on Thursday at 7pm. Calendar temporarily unavailable? Tell the parties in question you will check your calendar and get back to them ASAP via email, text or a phone call. If you’re still not 100% sure whether you can make a function or not, at least drop in a hold in your calendar so you have it “on the books” and it’s there for you to easily reference.

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Stop viewing time as an emergency.

Time isn’t an emergency, it just keeps ticking on…no matter what. A schedule doesn’t always have to be filled if it is empty or at less than full capacity. You don’t have to accept a last-minute invitation because it was offered to you. Honestly and truly, it’s not the end of the world if you can’t attend something. Just because something didn’t work out this time around in your schedule doesn’t mean you can’t already plan for the future when things are more calm or make other arrangements. Why not take some time now to rethink how you might you approach booking your time in future?

How about you? Is there a recent appointment or meeting on your calendar you now wish you had reconsidered before committing to it? Join in the conversation and leave a comment below!

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Rashelle Isip is a New York City-based professional organizer and productivity consultant who helps people get organized so they can stress less, have more fun, and be happier at home. Her work has been featured in Good Housekeeping, Fast Company, Cosmopolitan, The Washington Post, Business Insider, and The Atlantic. Get access to her free guide, 10 Simple Ways to Make Your To-Do Lists More Effective, by clicking here.