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My Best Solution for Overwhelm

Do you have a hard time saying “no” to requests from family, friends or co-workers? Do you find yourself overwhelmed by your to-do list? Are you overcommitted? I’m a multi-passionate person, and sometimes find myself stretched way too thin. I know things are getting out of whack when I wake up and just want to pull the covers over my head. That’s usually my cue that it’s time for some serious paring down of activities!

Lots of us interact with lots of different people, wear different hats, and have a decent amount of responsibility. Family commitments, work commitments, volunteer gigs; whatever your world looks like, it’s easy to find it too full. We’re too busy being tired and cranky to be of service.

One strategy I’ve been using to honor people’s requests, while simultaneously allowing myself time to process and consider committing is one magical phrase,

“I’d be happy to consider your request.”

Then, I usually give a time commitment for my pondering, something like, “I’ll let you know on Monday.” This strategy accomplishes three things:

  1. First-it takes away the pressure of feeling like we have to answer immediately.
  2. Second-it gives us the gift of time, during which we can consider the request.
  3. Third-it supports the other person through an immediate and positive response, and gives them a timeline for when they can expect your response. Win-win. 
I’d be happy to consider your request. I’ll think about it and let you know on Monday.” 
Try it, and see if it begins to clear a little breathing room!