Confessions of a Chronic Overcommitter

I overcommit. It’s something I know I do, and yet I do it anyway. The real problem is that I stop myself from committing to too many things to literally get done. If I started doing that, I think people would stop trying to turn to me to get things done in the first place. Instead, I take on enough work to make me insanely busy, but stop short of having enough work to make me incompetent and flaky.

Does that make sense?

And really, I suppose now that I type that, it isn’t exactly like that. I approach time management the same way I approach dieting (when I diet, which isn’t now. STOP ASKING ME ABOUT MY DIET! WHY DID YOU BRING THAT UP?) I eat very sparingly during the day so that at night I can have some ice cream. With time management, I’m super efficient throughout the day so that at night, I can sit down and watch a movie. Same principle.

Which then sometimes leads me to think, maybe I should just cut out the movie and the ice cream. Couldn’t I get even *more* done that way? Lost even *more* weight?

Thankfully, my love for ice cream and movies stops me from doing this, along with the knowledge that if I did start cutting out those few niches of fun I have left, then I’d go all Jack Nicholson in the Shining crazy. I need those lulls in order to have strength to get through the hectic.

On the surface, an even better approach would be to just not commit to do so many different things. But I don’t know if that really would be better for me. I thrive on efficiency. I love getting a lot of things done, and when I don’t have a lot to do, I either look for things to do to be busy (like bake something, plan a party, fix stuff around the house, organize things, etc.) or I sit around and mope and feel like I’m getting nothing done. Over Christmas break, I got a ton done at home. I built shelves in the kid rooms, created and installed drawer dividers in the kitchen, researched roofs, organized DVDs, plotted books, baked up a storm, went ice fishing–I had a big long list the whole time, and I thought it was great. If I didn’t have things to keep me busy, I’d get bored.

So in the end, it seems like I’ve got this really narrow window of “enough stuff to do” to keep happy and satisfied. If I go below that, I feel like I need to be doing more. If I go above that, I feel like I’m going to go crazy.

Am I the only person like that? Is there a medical or psychological term for it?

Inquiring minds want to know . . .

2 thoughts on “Confessions of a Chronic Overcommitter”

  1. Now I know what I need to do. Take on less than that which I can complete and remain sane. But, I don’t know how to do that so insanity has settled in.

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