Are you guilty of overcommitting?
They say behind every good man is a strong woman. But I say behind every successful woman is prayer and a planner!
I’m often asked how is that I manage to get everything done without losing my mind or myself in the process. This is a tough balance for all of us whether you work, or stay at home to raise children.
Prayer and planning are two key components that help me keep a balanced with a sound mind; while working, and raising children without overcommitting myself. It sounds simple, but it actually requires a little effort on my part.
There are four things I do every day to use my available time wisely.
1. Solicit God’s Help
Every day I pray and ask God for His help. I ask Him to direct my steps and give me discernment. Some of us get so busy, we say we don’t have time to pray. However, for me, I have so much to do; I can’t afford, NOT to ask God to help me.
Honestly, if you are too busy for God, you’re too busy!
Preparation is the key to any successful day. And to help in my preparation, I use a time-blocking planner. You can use a traditional physical planner, however, I over the years of using planners I couldn’t find one that worked specifically with the lifestyle of living within God’s priorities. So I created it.
Anyway, the point is, in my preparation I would take a look at my week, with commitments, work deadlines, family events, etc. and then spread out my tasks throughout the week.
In addition, I schedule time for myself, my family, and time with my husband. Taking care of ourselves isn’t selfish it’s biblical. So if you struggle with that, it’s time to get over it and put YOU on the schedule.
By knowing what’s happening for the week, it helps me keep my work load manageable so that I don’t overextend myself.
*If you don’t have a planner you can download this one day planner worksheet form our community library or by filling out the form below.
Once I’ve scheduled my week, I look over everything and identify areas I can delegate. Just because we can do anything, doesn’t mean we should do everything. Not only do I delegate to others; I also schedule my maids to do housework while I’m working. This is a great way to multitask without using additional time.
Before you say, I don’t have maids please don’t misunderstand me. We are not rich by any means, and we don’t have maids. Well, correction, we have modern maids; they’re called Mr. Washer, Mrs. Dryer, and Sir Dishwasher, etc.
On days I’m studying or blogging; I will schedule laundry at the same time or run the dishwasher. That way, when I am done working, clothes are done, dishes are done, and it didn’t require any more time on my part. This allows me to get my work done without neglecting my responsibilities at home.
4. Say No To The Good
My mentor taught me this a long time ago. In fact, she told me the most effective way to avoid overcommitting is learning how to say no to the good, for the sake for the better.
When you’re a caring person who loves to encourage others it’s hard to say no.
Learn to say no to the good for the sake of the better. Click To Tweet
I use to take phone calls that could have waited, or decided to allow someone else’s problem to become my emergency. As a result, it began to have a negative effect on my day.
However, through that experience, I learned that while speaking to my girlfriend who needs encouragement, was important; I can choose to call her back after 3p.m. when I am done working.
When I started making simple decisions like that daily, it helped me stay on track.
In The End
These 4 steps may seem rudimentary but by practicing them daily, I am able to avoid being overcommitted. As a result, I’m not only productive; I have energy to focus on what matters most.
What good can we be to anybody, if we’re worn out from overcommitting ourselves?
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with all that’s on your plate, try this for a week: pray, plan, delegate, and say no to the good for the sake of the better. Then see if you notice a change in your productivity.
You can even use this one day planner worksheet to help you plan each day. The worksheet can be found in our community library, or by filling out the form below.
~ Timberley Gray
Sarah Geringer says
Hi Timberley, this post is so pertinent for this busy back-to-school season. Glad I found it in the By His Grace Girls FB group today. Pinned and tweeted!
Thank you Sarah for reading! Yes, this back-to-school season can easily have us fall down that slippery slope of overcommitting. Here is to a school year filled with God’s grace and peace. ~ Blessings
This was so helpful! This school year is going to be crazy busy and I hate that feeling of being stretched thin!
Hi Heather! You are so right I don’t like the feeling of being stretched too thin too. Over the years I have come to understand what it means to only walk in the grace God has given us for today! Thank you for stopping by to read! ~ Blessings
Lara d'Entremont says
Thanks for the helpful post! I find I often take on too much at a time myself, but I need to learn to discern the good from the best ways to use my time. This has been a great reminder <3
Hi Lara thanks for stopping by..yes discernment is the key to helping us avoid the pitfalls of taken on too much. ~ Blessings
Lots of wisdom here! Thank you!
Thank you Leslie for reading! ~ Blessing
Halee @ FishbowlFamily.com says
Great tips! I needed to hear these today. As a pastor’s wife, there can be a lot of pressure to be involved in everything at the church. I just said no to a few committees and was feeling quite guilty about it. Thanks for reminding me to keep my priorities in line. I can’t do it all!
Oh Halee how I relate to you and wish I could just reach across this computer and give you a hug! As a co-pastor serving alongside my husband, I know exactly how you feel. Our heart is to help with the needs of the church but if we aren’t careful, we can wear ourselves down and neglect our family who is our first ministry. Boundaries are so important so that we can continue to pour out what God has placed inside of us to give. I pray God’s grace and peace over you as you “say no to the good for the sake of the better.” And may His rest restore your soul. ~ Blessings.
Coey Humble says
Miss Timberly, I’m feeling like I’m stuck in the spin cycle of my washing machine. Trying to deal with a 45-year-old daughter who is mentally 10 years old and disrespectful, and has resorted to trying to punch me and her father in the face, coordinating her 11 medications a day with the pharmacy because they can’t seem to fill them all on the same day. I am at her pharmacy every three days to get something. I was there three Times this week and finally got four of her medications and they still have two on back order. They are constantly back ordering her seizure medication and she can go up to a week without it and I am on constant alert if she has a seizure so we don’t have to runoff to the hospital and get staples in her head again. Then there’s my pharmacy, both of us have doctors appointments at two doctors every three months, and daddy is 94 who we have to deal with all of his doctors appointments and his medications and his falling down. Now, as I told you, Allen will be having surgery on October 2 because he may have prostate cancer. He is my priority right now. He is my groom, my husband, my best friend and I can’t alleviate his distress over what is going on. Our house is the size of a bread box. A total of 900 ft.². I share a room with my daughter because she has seizures. I was just diagnosed with seizures myself this year. But I won’t take the medication because I see what it does to her. It makes her too drowsy and I don’t have time to sleep. Our little old Chihuahua has cancer and he takes a lot of care right now. I have no private place to go. When I need a minute to myself I go in the garage and inevitably my daughter will be knocking at the door saying “ can we talk? “. Allen is amazing with doing a lot of things for daddy but it is taking it’s toll on him also. Daddy still lives in his own home. I just don’t understand how a planner can help me. What I need is a one month calendar with absolutely nothing on it. Allen and I need peace and joy again. We absolutely have it with each other because we have always been best friends and so respectful to one another, but so much is getting in the way that we don’t have time for each other. He is my primary family. And my priority. And yet these things must be done because there is no one else to do them. When you’re children are grown they become your secondary family. But that is not our case. Jennifer will always be a child. Your parents become secondary family when you marry, but we love honor and respect daddy and will do what ever we must do because we love him so much. I have had three major surgeries in the last 14 months. I had to learn how to walk all over again. I am so much stronger now physically, thank goodness. I don’t know why am dumping all this here on your page and I apologize for that. I think I am in the middle of a pity party and I hate them. When people are feeling sorry for themselves I tell them to stand up on their own feet and move forward. I cannot delegate this task to other people. Allen is already picking up so much of the load and our focus needs to be on his health right now . I suppose all this just comes with age. Next month I will be 67 and Allen will be 70 and we get to raise a child for the rest of our lives. We love our daughter dearly, she is our miracle child, but is extremely difficult at this age. We also worry about what is going to happen to her when we are gone. She has no place else to go. I will close now. None of this rambling I have done serves a purpose. I apologize for putting this on you but I needed to share with someone. I’m a very private person but sometimes you just need to release. It doesn’t solve anything, and I’m not trying to put my burdens on you, I guess I was just looking for a sounding board. I love you and Andre dearly and when I have an opportunity to just breathe I will see you at church. Love, Coey
Sweet Coey I am so sorry you are having such a hard time. With all that is on your plate, I can only imagine how you must be feeling. Taking care of others who have a physical challenge as well as managing our own health can be alot to deal with. And I am speaking that from experience. In moments like that I ask God that if He cannot lighten my load to give me a stronger back to do what He has called me to at this time. We are standing in the gap with you sister for God’s perfect peace and wisdom to make the right decisions for the days ahead. Bless you sister and hope to see you soon. ~ Timberley