Posted: October 28, 2010 at 11:05 am

I feel so much better today. A lot of the pain I feel really depends on how baby B situates himself inside of me and yesterday he chose the most uncomfortable place possible. Today I physically feel like a different person, so I should manage to keep the venting to a minimum, unlike last night. Thanks for that by the way.

Last night, we had our 4th week of small groups at our church. Getting together each Wednesday night helps break up the week nicely and it always feels wonderful to see friends more often. I won’t deny the other perk of not having to cook either. 😉 My friend brought us all a delicious stew to enjoy last night. Perfect for a rainy, fall night.


As much as I do love small groups, I confess to feeling a bit ready for them to end. Not because I don’t like attending, but because I feel I have overcommitted myself by volunteering to lead the group. I will of course finish out the session strongly, but then will certainly take a step back until other things in life calm down.

Overextending our time, energy, and care in any area of life takes its toll. In ordering my schedule and priorities, I always take the same steps.

1. Look at the big obligations. For me, this is my family, my job, and my faith. My job right now is to mother Makenzie so, obviously, these two tie together. During the day I work on playing with her and nurturing her knowledge in different things. That is my focus. I also strive to make time each day to spend as a family and making personal time with my husband for our relationship as well. My faith? Well, let’s just say if it doesn’t make it into my day in some way, we have a problem. I begin to feel empty or overwhelmed almost immediately.

2. Look at my needs. I go crazy if I do not have time for myself to cultivate my interests every day. This is why I make time to blog and why I dedicate myself to getting in workouts regularly. Those are my things and they deserve priority.

3. Other regular commitments. Right now these include leading our Sunday class, leading our Wednesday night small group, tutoring, and general household needs, such as having food in the house and clean clothes.

4. Make time for fun. I make an effort to include enjoyable activities in my life, but I don’t let them become a responsibility.Today, for example, we are missing playgroup because I need time for my needs and that is higher on the list. Plus, I will see them tomorrow for M’s Halloween party.

5. The extras. This covers the things I would like to accomplish, but don’t need to pressure myself with. Things like the deeper household cleaning I would like to do, but the surface job usually happens. Things like reading the list of books I have on hold at the library, but aren’t my top enjoyment right now.

That’s my method for figuring out how to fit it all in. Sometimes, I push a little too much, but I always learn the balance that works for me in the process.

  • Have you ever over-committed yourself?
  • What ways do you figure out your schedule? Do you thrive on a busy or more laid-back schedule?
  • Don’t forget to ASK ME ANYTHING for the November Q + A series!

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39 Comments to “overcommitted”
  1. Glad you’re feeling better. Oh yes, most definitely have over-committed myself plenty of times. You’re so right about making “me” time though and doing what’s right for yourself (and not feeling guilty about it).

  2. I feel overcommited quite a bit simply now with school. I want to do other things besides schoolwork. I Want to do activities and to be with people–but, when I do that, I fall behind and it stresses me out.

    tough line to balance.

    • Tina says:

      That has got to be so rough! Especially since I know you like having more flexibility for things and time to relax. I hope you get a break again soon! There shouldn’t be too much longer to this semester, right?

  3. Oh, man. I’m just thrilled that Chris’s test is tomorrow. Because then we can tackle other things. We are the epitome of an over-committed couple. But I suppose we’d go crazy if that wasn’t the case.

  4. LindseyAnn says:

    Oh yes. My 5th year of undergrad looked something like this:
    1st semester: 2 education methods courses (with a combined total of 10 hours/week of classroom field experience), 2 upper level French courses (one being a literature course that was done ENTIRELY in French), marching band (and learning a new instrument, too), working 2 jobs (one as a French tutor on campus, one as a concessions attendant at the local ice arena), and having my first off-campus house experience and basically being the only one who cleaned/cooked/did laundry/grocery shopped/made sure things got paid. I wanted to die after that semester, but then came this:
    2nd semester: 3 on-campus classes, still working at the arena, then from February on I was a long-term substitute teacher in a high school French and English class. So, not only was I working full time as a teacher, more or less, I was still a full time student getting ready to student teach the next fall.
    Yeah, that was a long year. However, it taught me that I really do thrive in that kind of environment, and now my significantly less busy schedule is making me anxious, because I feel like I should be doing SOMETHING.
    Sorry about the super long winded comment! I’m glad you’re feeling better today!

    • Tina says:

      Whew!!! Since I used to teach I understand exactly how time consuming all of that is. The time commitment for teaching honestly played a BIG role in me not going back to work after M was born.

  5. I am glad you are feeling better! Boy, I’m not looking forward to days like that 🙁

    I used to be type A, over committing, and I got super burned out..now, i am waaaay more laid back. I don’t commit to anything, haha…well, not really, I commit to myself and my clients…other things, I see how it goes, and if I am not overwhelmed, or it won’t make me overwhelmed, i will do it.

  6. Karen says:

    I really liked how you clearly defined what your priorities are! I am going through a phase of my life where things are changing and I have not yet been able to find balance. I think that by following your example and laying out my priorities I will be able to start to balance out my life! Thank you for the great idea!

  7. I don’t think I overcommit myself — I do pretty well with determining if I have time to do something or not. And when I start to get overwhelmed I will ask for help.

    If anything, I undercommit most of the time, which gives me time to help anyone with last minute projects/ideas/help/etc. I like to be available to help if needed, but no long term commitment 🙂

  8. Lisa says:

    I have such a hard time balancing things, but I like to think I am getting better. Priortizing is so important and breaking it down to whats really important vs. whats not (as you did in this post) really helps reduce stress and not making yourself feel bad about not being able to commit to something on a day!

  9. […] Karen @ 12:52 pm Tags: balance, family, me This post is inspired by Tina’s post on being Overcommitted and Katie’s post on Changing her Exercise Routine.  Right now I’m going through a phase in […]

  10. I’m also completely OVER commited. Between my 40 hr a week “real” job, my side consulting “business” that I don’t get paid for …yet, my blog, and writing for other people…I am seriously over commited.

    • Tina says:

      You do have a lot on your plate. Hopefully some of it will let up for you soon…or you will find a way to cut back on things if needed.

  11. Jess says:

    Wow, you weren’t kidding when you said we were on the same wavelength with our posts this week!! So you obviously know I’m feeling exactly the same way. I love how you listed out how you try to tackle the overcommitted feeling, I think I need to borrow that approach myself! I agree though – one thing that definitely deserves attention, is making sure to include enough “me” time in your day, I’m glad you see value in that because it’s so important!

  12. Meg says:

    I am known for overcommitting or even double booking myself for sure. One thing that’s helped it putting all my appointments/to dos’ in my phone calendar. I definitely don’t like to be go-go-go for long periods of time. I crave my alone/quiet time to decompress. I’ve learned sometimes to that saying “no” is better than not having my heart in it or disappointing all together. (Not saying that is your case though!)

  13. It must be ‘feeling over-committed’ week. I posted about it, and so have a few others. It’s so nice to feel that I’m not alone 🙂

    I need a healthy dose in prioritizing… or a fun weekend. Maybe both!

  14. I over-extend myself tons~ so I hear ya. I think taking a step back would be an excellent decision, girl 🙂
    One way I begin to schedule things and make time for things, is to make categories that I devote time and energy to. Then I’ll prioritize them, and then I’ll be honest with myself and list out how much time I really devote to each category. I’m actually planning a post on this soon!

  15. Harmony says:

    How funny that your post is about being overcommitted.I went on a retreat this weekend and one of the things I walked away with is how I need to slow down and stop committing to things that take me away from my family so much. I work, I joined a prayer group, I’m going back to school, we have two kids, a husband that needs my time, plus me time…whew! Plus add any activities the kids do and it’s crazy. I say it’s funny because now that I’m focused on it, that topic is popping up everywhere. I may have to institute some of those in my life as well. My new priority list is 1) GOD 2) Me 3) Hubby 4) Kiddos 5) Everything else…and it’s a work in progress

  16. i think a better question is when have i NOT overcommited myself! it’s so easy to do and so hard to get out of. we’re going on vacation next week and i can’t wait for it be a time of pure relaxation. i need that. real bad. 🙂

  17. We are totally on the same wave length! I am especially happy that you put your own needs at number 2 – it ties in perfectly with my post for tomorrow!

  18. Gosh, yeah, I can relate to over committing myself. I am warn out beyond belief! I feel like nothing is fun now because of it. I am glad you are feeling better and I hope you have a great afternoon!

  19. Mellissa says:

    I look at my calendar some days and feel a bit overwhelmed. There is almost never a day where I don’t have multiple things going on!

    • Tina says:

      You really do always have so much going on. But you always seem so well organized and like it fits you well. You amaze me!

  20. Angela says:

    I am incredibly guilty of overcommitting myself! When I started university I wanted to get involved in so many things but didn’t realize how much time school was actually going to take!! Now I like to schedule in “nothing time” on my weekends to make sure it’s not over before I’ve even had a chance to relax. I did a post a little while ago about making the most of my weekends: http://eatspinrunrepeat.wordpress.com/2010/08/28/making-the-most-of-the-weekend/

  21. Hey girl! Glad you are feeling better today. I thrive on a crazy schedule and tend to overcommitt myself on a regular basis. I am usually just committing to myself and making uber-long lists of things I want to do..but it’s still committing!

  22. Ela says:

    So glad you are feeling better – and what a timely, sensible and well-organized post! It’s really useful to see you laying out your obligations and priorities in this way.

    I’ve been going through similar questions and issues, especially with all the traveling we’re doing right now. I’m almost always overcommitted: seems like I need to have my finger in a lot of pies, and neither my husband nor I are always apt to do things ‘the easy way’ either!

    Love your self-love about making compromises and not doing everything.


  23. Rachel says:

    I always over-commit myself. But I like to stay busy so I thrive in that environment, usually. Every once in awhile I take a step back to re-charge.

  24. I’ve definitely overplanned before. As much as I try, I cannot be three places at once!

    Sometimes I have to learn to step back and chill out on trying to fit it all in. Even if I can- sometimes it’s best to cancel a few things just for sanity’s sake. I’ve learned I need a certain amount of down time in the day or I freak out…

  25. I don’t usually overcommit b/c I know I will become a total witch. I used to all the time but it’s best for my marriage if I don’t. 🙂 As much as I have baby fever right now, I don’t miss all the aches and pains! I hope Baby B keeps the uncomfortable positions to a minimum.

  26. Melodie says:

    This is a great post, very timely. I feel overcommited most of the time… and I am really not committed… it is because I work full time outside of the home from 9-5. I wake up at 5am to get my time with the Lord in and then walk for an hour or so, get ready, get my kids ready, make breakfast and head to work. I try to fit in 15 minutes of cleaning time each day, but that rarely happens. I cook every night of the week. By the time I plop into bed I would love to read or watch a show with my husband, but I usually fall asleep within 3 minutes of my head hitting the pillow! I also teach my sons Sunday School class… but that part is fun 🙂
    There isn’t really anything I could let go of at this time. I would love to take a yoga class, read more, strength train more, have friends, knit, etc. Maybe when my kids are grown?!

    • Tina says:

      Working moms are my heroes. I don’t know how you all do it. You are amazing to handle all of that and I’m sure your family appreciates it so much. Hope you have a restful night. 🙂

  27. Ugh…I’m an over-committer from way back in the day.Great reminders. Getting organized is almost impossible when you have too many things going on. Wonderful post. I’m so glad that you are feeling better too!

  28. I feel like I am always overcommiting myself.. it’s a bad habit I have, but I try to still take me time daily. I can only imagine how hard it is when you have kids!

  29. […] you may have noticed from yesterday morning’s post, I have been feeling a bit busy. It hasn’t gotten to the point where I feel overwhelmed and […]

  30. Sara says:

    I always over commit! I like how you organize everything you need/want/wish to do. Good plan!

  31. […] Answer: I  mentioned before in my post on scheduling my priorities that blogging is one of those “me” things that I truly need in my life. Blogging, along with […]

  32. […] post is inspired by Tina’s post on being Overcommitted and Katie’s post on Changing her Exercise Routine.  Right now I’m going through a phase in […]

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