Over-committed? Three questions to ask before saying yes.
I’ve been pretty stretched the last few months between finishing my new book, speaking a conferences across the globe, and juggling (and dropping) the many balls of every busy mother. So earlier this week, when I was asked to do a segment on The Morning Show (you can watch below) on how to say no, and avoid becoming over-commited, it seemed a perfect (if not slightly ironic) topic. Was the universe trying to tell me something?
Yet as I started to think about it more, I realized that I am not over-committed, I’m just fully-committed. The problem is that sometimes there’s a very fine line between the two.
That’s not to say sometimes I don’t over commit. It’s just all so easy to sucumb to the pressure to say yes to people when they ask something of you. It’s what people want to hear and it makes us feel like we’ve been the good friend-team player-community member we aspire to be. But the reality is that when we say yes to too many things, we run the very real risk of not having time for the things that matter most to us.
[pullquote]When what you commit to aligns with what you are most committed too, balance naturally sorts itself out. [/pullquote] While my segment on TV was far too brief to say everything I wanted (I so need my own hour show!), the key questions you need to ask yourself before making a commitment are:
- Is this aligned with my top priorities, goals and values?
- If I say yes to this, what will it mean, by default, saying no to? (e.g. will it take time away from your family, fitting in exercise, etc)
- Do I realistically have time to fulfil this commitment properly and on time? If you don’t, you run the risk of disappointing people, damaging trust, hurting your reputation, burning out, or “all of the above”)
Only when you are really clear about what it is that you most want to fit into your life, will you be able to find the clarity, confidence and guilt-free courage to say no to the many requests, invitations and opportunities that come your way. I’ve learnt over the years that sometimes we have to say no to the good to make room for the great.
I have to say, it was a truly great feeling this morning as I emailed off the manuscript to the editor at Wiley Press. So great in fact that I had to take myself out for the long awaited massage. Tonight… champagne! (Maybe even the fancy French stuff!) But not too much because tomorrow morning at 6am I’m heading to the airport with my husband and four kids for two weeks in Nepal. It’s a country that been at the top of my bucket list for years!
You have lots of things you want to do in your life. Some may be small, some big. As you move forward I just encourage you to make sure that what you commit to aligns with what you are most committed too. When it does, then balance naturally sorts itself out.
See you on the other side of the Himalayas!