Saying “yes” to everything only works when the opportunities are coming linearly or concurrently at a pace you can handle. But when you start saying yes to everything, all at once, then it’s only a matter of time before you break from stretching yourself too thin.
But what do you do if you are already overcommitted? How do you back down from the ledge?
There’s two options: little by little, or all at once.
The “all at once” option is the easiest, but potentially the most damaging. Because saying yes is a contract. It’s a firm handshake binding you to commit to what you agreed to. Backing out can bruise your reputation. But if you are burnt out and so overcommitted it’s starting to not only effect your happiness but your health, then dropping everything might be worth the damage. And if you are burnt out, you might not have a choice. Unless you want to stay a char broiled piece of leftover meat the rest of your life. Never say yes to something you don’t feel you should do. And if you have to back out then, back out, but do whatever is necessary to make amends and stick the landing.
The little by little is harder, because it requires you to followthrough with that you said yes to—even if you don’t want to. But in so doing, you show that you can be reliable and finish what you start. Day by day, you work your way towards a clear calendar. Of course, this only works if you stop saying yes to anything else. Continuously saying yes to more and more only keeps the overcommitted problem-train chugging along.
Committed gets you where you want to go; Overcommitted keeps you stuck in the mud.
STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing — Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1292