Overscheduling yourself can wreak havoc on your schedule and life in personal and professional contexts. Instead of feeling like you’re getting more done, instead, you’re more likely to burn out quickly which will leave you feeling defeated.
If left unchecked for too long, an overly full schedule can even cause stress and friction in your relationships with others.
The root of these problems is first found in our calendars and planners as we see the impact of overscheduling.
The first step might be simply saying no, and agreeing to less if possible. This is in the same vein as a “hell yeah…or no” philosophy in terms of goal setting and agreeing to collaborations.
Once you get past no, you can think about scheduling yourself as a maker and not a manager. What do you gain from your meetings and blocks in your time? Are you carving out, or protecting time for creation, inspiration, and recharging your batteries?
Some of the best guidance on making sure you don’t overschedule comes from this post from FastCompany. The post shares several elements to guide your thinking about scheduling.
- Establish your priorities. Make your priorities about values (e.g., freedom, career growth, family, money, etc.) and comparing that to commitments (activities/events). If they don’t pair up…don’t do it.
- Share those priorities. Communicate goals with those that matter in your circles. Family/friends won’t fault you for working late when you’re chasing a promotion.
- Don’t say yes right away. Slow down and think. It’s not your responsibility to make those around you happy.
- Use a printed, monthly calendar. Paper calendars allow you to write in the margins, create unimposing “to-do” lists.
- Schedule in your personal time. Schedule a “me party.”
From this list I’ll think about the paper calendar idea. I’ve seen colleagues use the paper “to-do” list or journaling. Not sure if I could/would do that.
I think I need to take point #3 to heart. Don’t say yes immediately…and it’s not my responsibility to make others happy.
Also, need to establish priorities and communicate those with the inner circle. But…I think those are pretty much established. Need to look at shorter-term (yearly, quarterly) goals.
What are your thoughts about keeping yourself from overscheduling and overwhelming yourself?