Kelsey is a highly respected executive with a well-known firm.  She’s single with a fiancée who lives about 90 miles away in another town.  Her two grown children are away at school.  She lives in a home with her dog.  She works long hours, not to mention, she’s involved with a number of organizations around town.

Samantha is a business development professional who has built a solid reputation as a result of being very visible in the community by attending events and getting to know as many people as possible in a number of different industries.  She and her husband have two young children.  When she’s not at a networking reception, you can find her involved at her kids’ schools and their extracurricular activities.

Holman is a very successful civil rights attorney who seems to know everyone in town.  He lives alone in a condo, but plans to lease it out once the home he’s building is completed.  He is very active in the community with several organizations, political campaigns, city hall committees and task force groups and the like.  He seems to perpetually be raising money for this organization or that important cause.  He’s fearless when it comes to reaching out to others to ask for favors because he’s been doling out favors for others all along.  He’s highly social and is constantly on the go.

What do these three individuals have in common?  Well, they all have successful careers doing what they love to do.  They all have stellar brand names that they have built through hard work, integrity, authenticity, and trustworthiness.  There’s certainly more.  But the thing that nobody is talking about:  They are all EXHAUSTED by the end of the day!  Each one of them has multiple offers to attend events seven nights out of the week.  Each one of them has demands on their time from outside forces that cut into any “free” time they might enjoy.  Bottomline:  They are all overcommitted!

Sound familiar?  With whose profile do you best relate? 

These days, it seems we are all overcommitted in one way or another.  Turns out each of us has only 24 hours in a day and we are filling them up!  It leaves very little time to get anything done, let alone… sleep!  So, what can be done?  Try out these ideas:

  1. Schedule “Me” time.  We all need downtime.  We all need time to think.  We all need time to process.  We all need time to actually do our work.  We all need to take a break.  By setting aside time for yourself, you will be better for everyone.  You will get more out of the activities that you do engage in – and they will get more out of you.  But, don’t just talk about scheduling me time… actually do it by putting it on your calendar.  Be sure to protect it… when you are strapped for time, ensure that it is not the first timeslot to be co-opted by another activity.
  2. Establish limits.  For you, perhaps you only say “yes” to two after hours events each week.  That means that you will probably have to say “no” to several opportunities that sound appealing.  When you have an abundance of opportunities, you will need to learn to prioritize them.  And, if, say, you find yourself wishing you could go to three of the many events you could attend… then attend three.  It’s up to you.  But, honor your own boundaries and learn to select wisely.
  3. Remember “No” means “No right now.”  If you have FOMO (fear of missing out), remember that saying “yes” to everything probably means you’re not going to benefit from much of anything.  If you are presented with multiple, competing, cool opportunities, select the one or two that are most appealing and appropriate for you right now.  Remember that you can always circle back and take up later those opportunities that you had to decline at this time.

Take back your calendar.  Establish boundaries.  Do only what you love.  Happy Networking!

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