Health & Wellness

Tips for avoiding the Over-Commitment Trap

April 19, 2021
avoiding the over-commitment trap

I’ve not had two minutes to spare this last couple of weeks and when that happens I’m certainly NOT LIVING WELL!  The last couple of weeks, Time was my enemy and I need to make friends with it again.

This brings me to my topic of the week…….. AVOIDING THE OVER-COMMITMENT TRAP . 

Now, before I start, I do need to point out, that I LOVE TO BE BUSY! I really don’t want to have my days stretch out before me with nothing to do or to feel the need to live a life that is simple, slow and steady. That just isn’t me, I accept that, but that lifestyle might appeal to you. I always come back to acknowledging that we are all unique, different and want different things for our life.

We shouldn’t live our life by other people’s expectations, we live our life on our terms and what is right for us.

Sue from Women Living Well After 50

There is a difference though with being busy doing things you enjoy and going too far along the busy scale. The problem for me is when I over extend myself and take on too much and my life becomes too hectic to enjoy. I start to feel drained and tired.

We read everywhere about having the ability to say ‘NO’ and setting boundaries but sometimes life just doesn’t work that way, does it?  I know for me it doesn’t and I’m sure you have times when you feel this way too.

My friend, Donna from Retirement Reflections has taken some time out from blogging to enjoy the Spring weather and some Spring Cleaning where she lives on beautiful Vancouver Island. I’m not sure I would get much Spring Cleaning done living in such a beautiful place, but I digress.

We were chatting during the week and she said she was taking a break and it was thanks to me.  Donna felt that although she had been doing things that she enjoyed, the restrictive nature of lockdown combined with activities online developed with groups to cope with living in lockdown, making appointments for her parents to have their COVID vaccinations, life in general had left her feeling drained and saying ‘enough’. Donna had remembered times when I’ve put my hand up, said ‘enough’ and taken a break and a step back from life.  Often, women will tell me they are following my example and then I find that I’m not, which isn’t a good look is it?

The last few weeks have been extremely busy for me with friends and family get-togethers at Easter and organising and celebrating my daughter, Rachel’s 40th birthday.  If you read my #WeekendCoffeeShare #9 you would have seen the 5 layer Ice Cream cake I made – I was pretty proud of that! Throw in spending two days with my grandsons, a Strong Healthy Women business meeting, taking sessions as a trainer in the Strong Healthy Women Virtual Studio, recording interviews for the Podcast and Mirco Monday episodes, plus general life and you can see why it was difficult to find two minutes to spare.  

Spending time with my family is definitely not a chore but a delight.  My other activities over the last few weeks have also been enjoyable but definitely the balance of time has been tipped way too far to the ‘no time for me’ side.



So what am I doing to find my two minutes – or more?

  • I’m revising where I am placing my energy!  That was the subject of last week’s Micro Mondays Podcast episode which you can listen too HERE.  Living in the Moment is the topic for this coming week’s Micro Mondays Podcast episode. 
  • I’ve looked at my diary and rescheduled, prioritized and even cancelled appointments to make some space in my life.  Sometimes we feel obligated but guess what?  Most people are reasonable and are happy to change times and reschedule – you just have to ask!
  • My darling and I are looking at some holiday breaks to look forward to, now that COVID-19 restrictions have been eased.
  • Making time for ‘unstructured time’ – no diary, no plans just taking the day as it comes – for me that is usually Sundays
  • Most importantly, I’m making sure I get enough sleep, exercise and eating well to keep my body healthy and fit to help me enjoy my lifestyle.


Are you caught in the over-commitment trap?  What do you do to bring the scales back to balance?

Women Living Well After 50

Living Life Your Way

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16 Comments

  • Reply Leigh Roberson April 19, 2021 at 04:25

    Very good advice! I usually do my “calendar planning” on Sunday and I always try to make sure to leave a little “cushion” in my week for the things that always seem to come up unexpectedly! Wishing you a productive and pleasant week ahead.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 20, 2021 at 10:12

      Hi Leigh! Thanks for visiting and leaving me a comment. Sunday’s are my planning day too and the ‘cushion’ of time during the week is a great idea. Thanks for sharing and have a great week. x

  • Reply Donna Connolly April 19, 2021 at 05:13

    Great advice (as usual), Sue.
    I am greatly enjoying my timeout. I highly recommend this to others when they are feeling overwhelmed by overcommitment.
    Oh, and my house has never been cleaner! 😀

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 20, 2021 at 10:13

      Hi Donna, I can see you are enjoying your time out and would love to be sitting on your patio with you whiling away the hours, discussing books and hiking! x

  • Reply The Widow Badass April 19, 2021 at 06:26

    I think the pandemic restrictions here in Canada have made a lot of people realize how busy they were before, and how much calmer life is now. Some friends have told me that they will no longer schedule so many things in their week, once restrictions are lifted. I think this is a good thing and hope we don’t lose the lesson too fast.

    Deb

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 20, 2021 at 10:14

      Hi Deb! There have been some positives (for want of a better word) to come out of the pandemic and one is that people are reassessing their lives. As you say thought, we ‘hope we don’t lose the lesson too fast’ and get caught up in life again. Have a lovely week! x

  • Reply Debbie Harris April 19, 2021 at 08:04

    This is so timely for me Sue! I love being busy too but sometimes it can get a bit overwhelming. Some things have eased for me but we have other things lined up, cleaning out my MIL’s house (after her death in December) is next on our list and one I’m not looking forward to due to the emotional aspect and sense of loss all over again. I like to have my calendar sorted and try to have days where there’s very little planned, it makes life fun and much easier to cope when things do get busy. Great post that gives us an insight into your life, which is always interesting! #lifethisweek

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 20, 2021 at 10:10

      I know you’ve been so busy lately Deb so I’m sure you understand where I’m coming from. We had to clear out Luisa’s room the day after she died so no time for sentiment. We had previously cleared her home for sale whilst she was still alive so we didn’t have that emotional upheaval. You can’t really have closure until that is all done. x

  • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au April 19, 2021 at 13:41

    Hi Sue – when I read this in your newsletter I was very glad to see that you’d recognized when your cup was full and starting to overflow. I think we all have different levels of what feels comfortable on the busy-ness scale, and cutting back when we start to hit the red line is always the best choice – otherwise stress sets in, our sleep takes a hit, our tolerance levels start to drop, and life isn’t as sunny as it usually is. I like to have one day during the week with nothing scheduled – that seems to ease the flow for me – I like your ideas for giving yourself some downtime – they sound great. x

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 20, 2021 at 10:08

      Hi Leanne, yes I seem to know when I’m pushing the envelope and pull myself back in time. My Sundays are my flow day which is perfect after my long run and drive to Brisbane on Saturdays. It really is all about what works for us as individuals isn’t it? Have a great week! x

  • Reply Erica/Erika April 20, 2021 at 09:48

    Hi Sue, Over-commitment trap is a great segue to a previous “energy” discussion. Interesting how you use the phrase “stretch out before me with nothing to do” and the phrase that immediately comes to mind for me is “stretched too thin” I concur with Donna’s feelings. For me, I have been somewhat “off the grid” for many personal reasons. Similar concept. I like your words, “rescheduled…prioritized…cancelled…”

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 20, 2021 at 09:57

      Hi Erica I like your ‘stretched too thin’ comparison to ‘stretch out before me with nothing to do’. I am what I am and for me I understand that sometimes I do stretch the band just a little too much and then have to pull back before it snaps. I also acknowledge that when I take control, reschedule, prioritize and even cancel I do feel a weight is lifted and I can give more to the important areas of my life. Thank you as always for your thoughtful comment. xx

  • Reply Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid April 20, 2021 at 21:09

    I think the knack is knowing when you’ve over committed and knowing that you need to take a step back. I always like to have some unscheduled time so that I know I can rest and recharge. I also love a good weekend away because I find the change of scenery as good as the rest!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 25, 2021 at 09:23

      Hi Sammie, yes it is knowing you need to step back and actually doing it isn’t it? Love the idea of weekends away occasionally to really get away from it all. x

  • Reply Denyse Whelan April 21, 2021 at 18:47

    “Busy” used to be a “badge of honour” and now it can remind us that we need to take something out of our schedules…see, who has a schedule when they are retired…ummm I did/do. That used to be me and at 71 I am s l o w l y learning that I do not have to be productive ALL the time…love that you could look at your life and re-prioritise!

    Thank you so much for being a kind-hearted and generous sharer of your blog post each week for Life This Week. It makes such a difference to each Monday for me, opening up the blog and …there you are! Thanks for linking up and next week, the optional prompt is joyful. See you then, all being well as they say! Denyse.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 25, 2021 at 09:25

      Hi Denyse, I’m learning that yes I can be productive and busy but that also must include time out to do nothing but relax and recharge. x

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