Over-commitment is an oxymoron.

Here is an issue direct from a coaching client:

“I often find myself overcommitted. What can I do differently?”

I certainly know how you feel (there is a reason I posted this late today)! My family means the world to me. And there is my work – my Purpose – that I approach with great passion. Of course, I have some social life, mostly connected to my various roles on community boards, or with a group of parents at my kids’ school events and hockey games. Oh, and my spiritual life is all-important, which I dedicate great time and energy to developing, exploring and refining that I might live according to God’s Will. I also devote my time to reading, and read books voraciously. I want to be healthy…ooh, maybe later. Then there is my dream list and my daily and weekly “To-Do” lists and…

“Overcommitted” is an interesting term I hear used quite often from peers, clients and colleagues. I obviously feel their pain. But use of this term belies some underlying assumptions, which may be a problem. Let’s break it down:

The verb “commit” means “to obligate or pledge oneself”, so if I say I am “overcommitted”, I may have pledged my time and energy too broadly. Most likely, you are involved in a number of activities and roles at work or at school, in the community and at home. You probably struggle “finding the time” and energy to keep your obligations. But are you really committed?

Reconsider the concept of commitment. The burdonsome feeling of having too many obligations is common, but are you really over-committed or are you under-committed? Over-commitment is an oxymoron. Too many obligations creates a watering-down effect, so none of them receive your true commitment. Does “obligation” equal “commitment”?

How might your problem look differently if you considered that you may really be under-committed to your real priorities? What new solutions does this shift in thinking generate? What are your real priorities? How do you know?

If you find it difficult to say “no” or have ever used the phrase “I didn’t have time” you may be under-committing; worse, you may be blaming the clock, your other roles or even other people. What is important to you? What opportunities do you have that relate closely to your core goals and purpose? Have you prioritized your opportunities before obligating your time and energy?

“Over-committed” people prioritize their schedules. The committed person schedules his or her priorities. Consider this critical distinction before you make promises in the future.

If you are struggling with over-commitment, time management, or feel overwhelmed with obligations, coaching can help. Comment on this article or call me anytime to talk it over.

About pdncoach

A Go-Giver business coach working with leaders whose success depends on the performance and productivity of others. I coach individual leaders and their teams... in small to mid-size businesses, ministries and non-profits... to accelerate their results and achieve dreams by getting past the difficult, strategic challenges of their current realities.
This entry was posted in coaching, commitment, dreams, energy, goals, overcommitted, passion, priorities, Purpose, time management. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Over-commitment is an oxymoron.

  1. Pingback: Burnout | Intersection of Purpose and Now

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