Those of us who work in professional services understand that what we do focuses on the word “service.” This means we must strive not only to be experts at our craft but also to generate excellent results for our clients, bosses, and colleagues every time. As you know, this can be challenging because everybody is different and has a unique set of wants and needs. However, as the saying goes, it’s impossible to please everybody all the time. If you make too many commitments, then you run the risk of experiencing some seriously negative consequences. That’s why you need to pick your tasks carefully. There’s nothing wrong with telling someone “no” if what they want isn’t a good fit. Here are five great reasons why you shouldn’t overcommit:
- Quality of work – Every project requires an investment of your time, energy, and consideration. The problem is that you only have a limited amount of these resources to spend each day. That means that the more work you take on, the harder it is for you to give each project the attention it deserves.
- Professional reputation – People may forgive one or two simple mistakes, but producing subpar results on a regular basis will make them complain. It’s well-documented that people share bad service experiences far more than good ones, so it’s diabolically easy to torpedo your reputation by allowing yourself to take on more work than you can handle.
- Enjoyment of work – Work isn’t play, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it. In fact, if you can find something that’s enjoyable about your work, then you’re more likely to produce excellent results. However, being overcommitted makes it less likely that you’ll enjoy your work even if you generally like what you do.
- Stress – Feeling overwhelmed because you’re overcommitted can lead to feelings of despair, powerlessness, and deep anxiety. This kind of stress can affect you emotionally and physically and can even make you ill. Don’t do that to yourself.
- Personal life – The detrimental effects of being overcommitted can bleed into your personal life. This can have a devastating impact on your most important relationships with the people you love. Of all the reasons not to overcommit yourself, this is the strongest.
Being overcommitted seems like a nice problem to have because it implies that you’re receiving tons of work, which is certainly better than the alternative. However, it’s still a problem because the more projects you have, the more likely you are to be stretched too thin. Choose your commitments carefully.