Spiraling out of controlEverybody is busy. Actually, everybody is too busy. It seems so easy to get overwhelmed by the crush of work and home lives.

It is easy to blame our reality on “them” or the “company” or the “way of the world.” But, we participate in this world by saying yes.

And, no is not always an option, of course. But, ask yourself the question:

When and how do you participate in creating your sense of being overwhelmed?

I am on the brink of making a commitment in my home life that is not a good idea, given all the work and family commitments already on my plate. So, why do I feel hooked by the request? Two things I learned a long time ago that lure me into a new commitment are:

  1. When I have a unique contribution for something important—especially if it’s in trouble.
  2. When someone I deeply respect asks me (for anything).

Knowing that, I can now stop myself and put the lens of logic on the matter— and say no with deep respect.

What hooks you? Maybe it’s different from me, maybe one of these situations:

  • When the boss or client makes the request (person of authority)?
  • When the reward or recognition is exciting?
  • When you’ve already said yes to something related, and it makes logical sense for you to extend your commitment?
  • When a person needs you?
  • When the result “checks a career box” for you?
  • Or, something else?

Two points here. 1) Know when and how you get hooked to say yes when maybe you shouldn’t, and 2) make commitments that you can keep, given what’s on your plate and what represents a healthy way to work and live.