work-life-balance-how-to-say-noThe title of this blogpost has been a struggle for me for the past 20 years. Even though the saying refers to accepting too many responsibilities than you can effectively handle, I literally bite off more than I can chew most days when I’m eating. Since I’m a bit OCD when it comes to time management, eating is typically not a savoring experience, but a necessary evil to fuel up so that I can keep adding value to the world. Thus, food that isn’t chewed well-enough clogs up in my small esophagus, and I have to take a time-out until my body can process it.

Then, there are countless situations when I try to carry more things in my hands than I can truly balance carefully—in the effort to not take two trips, of course, and multi-task–and the end result is that I drop a lot of things on the ground (which ends up taking as much time as the second trip would have!).

But, to the point of the saying, I like to say YES to opportunities that get offered to me or that I create on my own. I keep piling them into my schedule as long as there is a time-block to put them in, thinking that it’s yet another great place to impact people to have a breakthrough in their lives. But, as I sit here with a head cold today, I know that without margin (white space; time-buffers) and enough rest, the body will call a time-out on its own to slow ya down.

Danger signs that you are biting off more than you can chew are:

  • Forgetting appointments–probably because you said YES without writing it in your calendar
  • Missing small details–running too fast and overlooking something
  • Wasting commute time–by not taking the time to plan commitments that are batched near similar destinations
  • Forsaking your friends and/or family–your schedule is too full to squeeze them in and they feel like leftovers
  • No time for personal hobbies--Fun time never makes it into your schedule because it’s not been planned
  • Exhaustion--your body freaking out at the overdrive pace it wasn’t intended to run on so regularly

Can you relate? Maybe you have some other consequences of filling your buffet plate (calendar) too full, and I’d love to hear them.  In the meantime, when you have margin (hee-hee), check out some of my short self-leadership videos on YouTube by subscribing to Paul D. Casey.