Hiram College



Overcommitment…Let it Go


As a healthcare provider, one source of stress that I see again and again is overcommitment.  To simplify your life and regain some control, a realistic time management plan, free from overcommittment is a must. Plain and simple.

The only thing holding you back from the gnarly teeth of the overcommitment monster is learning to say “no”.  For many, especially ladies, using the “n” word is almost as painful as having a root canal.  It’s thoroughly unnatural and very painful.

Here are three strategies and techniques to help you say “no” and free yourself from the stress of overcommitment, once and for all.


1.  Know your priorities.

Being clear about what is important to you is the first step in learning to say no.  When you know what you want out of life, you will be more deliberate about how you spend your time and who you spend your time with.  It will become easier to see your obligations, tasks and responsibilities as they fit into your life and when they don’t.  Knowing your priorities will empower you to say “no” and feel good about it.


2. Know how to say no.

Having some pre-rehearsed ways of politely saying no will help you to head off any unwarranted overcommitment scheduling conflicts.  Say things like “Thank you for the offer, but I’ll have to pass this time.”  Or “Thank you, but that doesn’t fit in my schedule right now.”  Having pre-rehearsed responses will help you to muster the courage to decline offers graciously when you want and need to.


3. Approach no from a position of power.

Instead of saying “I can’t do this” say “this doesn’t fit my priorities right now.”  When you say “I can’t” the words themselves seem powerless.  By realizing and making known something doesn’t fit your priorities and turning it down, you’re putting yourself in a position of power: the power to make decisions about how you will choose to spend your time according to your priorities.


Using these three techniques will free you from the stress of having too much to do and create time to do what you enjoy.  It will free up time to spend with friends and family, go for a leisurely walk or take a nap!  Doesn’t that sound nice?  Just say “no” and you can have it too!


Please join us at our December 11th in the Kennedy Center at 7pm for Healthy Hiram’s, “Finding Your Life Balance”  presented by registered nurses, Susan Shipitalo and Phyliss Shannon.