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Overcommitted is an interesting term I hear often. Use of the term and your underlying assumptions may be a problem. The verb "commit" means "to obligate or pledge oneself," so you may have pledged your time and energy too broadly. You are likely involved in a number of activities and roles at work, 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. Are you 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. 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?

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 or your other roles. 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 yourself? "Over-committed" people prioritize their schedule. The person of integrity schedules his or her priorities. Consider this critical distinction before you make promises in the future.

— Reprint permission granted by Mark Sturgell. All rights reserved worldwide.