Are there things you want to do, and think about doing, and never seem to have enough time or enough energy or enough focus? You might be dealing with being over-committed. Check out the following list:
Do you do any of the following?
- You work all the time
- You do everything; everyone depends on you
- You say yes to everyone and everything
- You are overwhelmed
- You say no to everything
- You want to hide
- You have self-sabotaging behaviors
- You are easily distracted
- You procrastinate often
- You don’t stick to a schedule
- You don’t return email or calls in a timely manner
- You don’t have systems in place
If you said yes, I suspect you are the victim of your own drive that has left you over-committing. This may not be new news to you 😉 and let’s talk about why you do it and what you could do differently.
I have worked with thousands of people who have had a similar tendency. What I find is that if you can see why you are doing it, and then create a strategy to break the habit and retrain yourself, you can put this energy-sucking habit behind you. Interested in that?
Here is what I have found: what drives us is generally in a few different categories. I am going to list them below. Check what applies to you.
Common situations/reasons for “I can’t do more” or “If I had more time”, etc.:
- Firefighting: Dropping what you are doing to do something else someone else thought you should do or needed
- People pleasing: Saying yes indiscriminately
- Wonder Woman Syndrome: Being and Acting as if you can do it all…alone
- Sacrificial Lamb Syndrome: Same as wonder woman, with the twist of being a martyr about it
- Procrastination: You are ‘busy’ but not with what you need to be doing, but avoiding it by doing other things
- Inefficiency: Not planning, just doing without thinking, OR not delegating/outsourcing. Reinventing the wheel type work
- Not taking care of yourself: Working all the time, not sleeping sufficiently, not eating well, not exercising
After you have identified which one(s) are pertinent to you, ask yourself – Why? Seriously. If you look, you do x (one of the above) in order to _____(fill in the blank). Be brutally honest here.
An example- I was working with a small business owner who was very successful, and she had a complaint. She complained that she could never take time off because everyone she employed was not competent to take care of the things only SHE could do, and she felt she was approaching ‘burnout’. When she looked and told the truth she had #4. Sacrificial Lamb Syndrome, and she answered: Why? In order to feel important and needed. Then we investigated what she was doing and not doing that kept the circumstances in place. She saw she was not training people completely and did not ask them to do things, but always intervened. What happened? She changed her habits. She started training people more completely and started asking them to do things. Of course, they stepped up. They started asking to do things and took more off her plate. They actually increased their feeling of ownership and dedication to her business and helped her expand it. And she took a vacation!
When you tell the truth about what you are doing and why, you can change the structures or the habits you have in place that keep it going the way it is.
Look at your thinking habits and your doing habits and your not doing habits. See what you could do differently and expand your capacity by stopping doing the things you have been that keep your situation happening over and over. You might be surprised what added benefits you get!