Are You Overcommitted? How to Cut Back and Live a Simpler Life

There are so many rich experiences life has to offer us. Between work, volunteering, hobbies, sports, and leisure, it is easy to book too much in and be constantly on the go without a moment to ourselves. Sometimes we find that we have bitten off more than we can chew and become completely overwhelmed.

True, it may be beneficial commitments we have buried ourselves in, but if we don’t have enough time to take care of ourselves, it is too much. How do you cut back when you realize you have gotten caught up in too fast of a pace and need a chance to put the brakes on and relax? Here are a few ideas.

Decide on Your Priorities

Just because something is good, doesn’t mean it is good for you. You may be using your time to help others, like volunteering with a charity or on the parents’ board at your children’s school. But if it is cutting back on much-needed family time or interfering with your marriage, perhaps now is not the best time to be involved.

No matter how much good your commitment is contributing to a cause you are passionate about, decide if it is at the top of your priority list at this moment. If not, find a way to scale back or cut it out completely for now. There will likely be plenty of time to revisit your commitment at a later date.

Follow Your Intuition

If you want a quick way to decide whether you are cut out for a particular project, pay attention to how you feel when it is offered to you. When someone has asked you to be involved in their cause, are you feeling a twinge of excitement or slight panic? Going with your intuition can serve you well and keep you from taking on projects that are going to eventually become a constant source of stress to you.

Meet Halfway

If you have been asked to be involved in something you fully believe in but don’t have time for, think of a way you can compromise. Perhaps you can split the job with one or more people. Or perhaps it can wait until your schedule frees up a little. In any case, there are almost always ways to make a commitment more manageable.

Say No Sometimes, Even When You Want to Say Yes

Although you may have many passions and believe in many causes, there is only a certain amount of time in each day. If you find yourself leaping enthusiastically into role after role that seems perfectly cut out for you, slow down. Put things back into perspective and choose only what you feel absolutely compelled to do. Cut out the rest, and take some time to focus before taking on any more.

Too often, we feel that we must become a superhero of sorts and commit ourselves to a breaking point. Being overcommitted doesn’t benefit anyone, though. We will cause more stress to ourselves than necessary, and we will be unable to give any of our projects our best. Choose your priorities and make a decision to be involved only in a few choice activities instead of overcommitted to too many.

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