Enthusiastic? Overcommitted? Failing?

Are you commiting to too many things? Does your enthusiasm overwhelm your common sense and your calendar? Are you trying to achieve everything all at once? Are you finding yourself failing all too often? Have you considered the reasons for this failure?

Speaking from experience, I can tell you my own reasons for failing. I was trying to be the perfect mom, perfect wife, perfect daughter and perfect designer. I thought I could fit 20 hours of work into a 24 hour period. I could live on 4 hours of sleep a day and half-hearted meals that lacked the nutrition my body needed. Until I couldn't. Until I was so exhausted, I couldn't keep it up. It is impossible to be all things to all people:

  • Home on time to do homework and dinner every night with the family

  • Girl scout troop leader, service unit leader, plan all meetings, lead all meetings, and host all meetings

  • PTO mom who is available to help the school all the time

  • Wife who takes care of the house and does all the laundry, cooks, cleans, keeps things perfect

  • Employee who works 50+ hours a week and exceeds all expectations

  • Community volunteer who is always willing and able to participate in activities and drives to help those who need

  • Friend who is always available and participates in social events

The hours involved in the commitments we sign up for fill our days. Allowing them to take over our days means that there is not enough time. It is important to set boundaries and prioritize your commitments. Before committing to the extracurriculars, make sure you have committed enough time to your priorities. Ask yourself, "What are my goals? What do I want to achieve? Does this allow me to meet them?

There are ways to adjust your commitments to allow you to participate and still achieve your goals. For example, if you want to help at your children's school and cannot volunteer during the day, you can help by donating more to the PTO, or volunteering resources for online programs. If you want to help in the community but are unable to participate in person, you can help with online marketing, or collecting donations for your local charity.

If you are unable to be home in time to cook dinner for your family, you can always plan ahead and prepare meals that can be placed directly in the oven when your partner gets home. Within 45 minutes, a healthy, balanced meal can be available with minimal work in the evening.

Sometimes you have to ask yourself if all of the things you are trying to do are things you actually need to be doing yourself. Could you hire someone else to do it? Could you outsource the task? Could you find other volutneers? Can you build a team who can help you to meet your goals? In your home, do you need to hire out work? Purchase meals through a service? How can you simplify your life to minimize your time commitments and achieve your goals?

This blog post assumes you are in a committed relationship or have children. However, it is absolutely possible for someone who is single to be in the same situation. The commitments and responsibilities may be slightly different, but the balancing is the same. Prioritizing your goals has to come first. What are you working towards? What is your long term plan? What do you need to prioritize to achieve it?

How do you plan to achieve your goals and minimize your commitments?

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