As I write this blog post, I am thinking of roughly three other things going on this week. This includes, and is not limited to, trying to find time to food shop between interning and working while brainstorming next week’s post. As PR practitioners, we work in an industry of people pleasing. We try to make everyone happy at any cost, from clients to bosses to coworkers and friends. Even if that means skipping lunch all week to finish an extra project we've taken on or leaving work after a double shift to attend a friend’s going away party.
As the self-proclaimed queen of overcommitting, I am guilty of all of this, saying “yes” to too many people in order to avoid missing an opportunity or seeming rude. The fact of the matter is, never saying “no” to people leaves you exhausted and simply burnt out. Thankfully, there a few steps we can take to avoid that nasty habit of spreading ourselves too thin.
- Organize. Use a planner or calendar to write down commitments, even simple day-to-day activities like time at the gym or lunch with a friend. This way, you can see when things may be overlapping and when you’re overcommitted.
- Prioritize. Figure out who and what takes the highest priority so you can determine what is really worth investing your time in.
- Compromise. You need to be able to compromise with yourself and others. Learn that sometimes, you can’t do it all. Maybe saying no to an extra project at work this week means taking it on next week after you've met all your deadlines.
- Relax. Give yourself a break and realize that it’s okay to say no. You shouldn't make yourself feel guilty for sometimes spending time and energy on yourself over others.
It’s also important to know when to say yes. Before committing, take a moment to decide if it’s in your ability to take on a task and if it is something you’d actually like to do!