Day 4 – Are Commitments Cluttering Your Life

Clutter isn’t only too many items on your countertops and piles of unsorted mail. Clutter comes in all forms, including too many commitments. Are commitments cluttering your life?

Most (not all!) families have two working parents and kids who participate in activities seven days per week. A typical family can easily expect to have multiple commitments pulling them every which way on a daily basis. Too many commitments make it hard or nearly impossible to be organised without intention.

One of the first steps in being more organised is decluttering your calendar. Being able to prioritise your commitments and make cuts when needed can reduce stress, create opportunities to be more streamlined, and increase your personal happiness. You don’t have to be spread too thin. You have the ability and the responsibility to say no to some commitments.

Here are some tips for streamlining commitments:

Tip #1: Just Say No.

Consider no as an automatic response. If your weekends are busy, then simply say no. You don’t have to worry about other people’s feelings or FOMO if you know that there is no room in your schedule to make a commitment. Most people won’t be offended if you decline their offer. Be kind, have a blanket statement ready, and simply say no to the request.

Tip #2: Have a Family Meeting.

Decide as a family what sort of commitments are on or off the calendar. Making decisions together helps families work towards a common goal. If saying yes to too many activities means the lawn is never mowed and the laundry is never washed, there’s bound to be consequences down the line. Decide together what activities are scheduled and what actions need to be taken to maintain the status quo at home or in business. If the cost for saying yes is too high, then declining the commitment is the right thing to do.

Tip #3: Evaluate Your Priorities.

Look at the commitments you are making and ask yourself why you make them? Are you saying yes to anything out of guilt or coercion? Are you truly enjoying the commitments you have? If you aren’t, think about what you are doing, then consider stopping. Don’t allow guilt or a misguided sense of responsibility to overwhelm your schedule.

Tip #4: Take a Commitment Fast.

For one month, cut out all unnecessary commitments. Try fasting from commitments and see what you and your family think at the end of the month. Do you feel more refreshed and less harried? Did you realise you feel better having less to do outside the home? Was it easier to stay on top of chores, resting, and doing things you love? A Fast will show you if you’d like to consider limiting your commitments on a more permanent basis.

Commitments seem like an unavoidable aspect of life. To some extent they are, but often, they are part of a mindset and habit of behaviour that feels normal. You can declutter your schedule and remove commitments, making way for more time and more peace in your life. Consider evaluating your calendar and making changes.

Today’s Written Challenge: As well as filling out a bit more of your workbook, I suggest today that you write a list of your commitments and try and declutter your calendar. Is there anything that can be delegated? (e.g the other parent takes the child to a party?). Is there something you could save time on (e.g do food shopping online at leisure rather than a dedicated hour or so).

Todays practical challenge: I think we have enough to be going on with on the challenge front today, but if you want to do something physical then how about tackling any paperwork that is lying around? Gather it all up and sort it into 3 piles: Actionable (things you need to do something about), to shred/recycle and to file. Then do it!

My Own Personal Challenge:

I purchased a diary for this year. I’ve been using my phone calendar up until now for important dates, but I’m thinking it would be better to use an actual diary to plan things. I saw some great little stickers on Etsy which I’ve ordered to jazz up the pages. 

How do you plan on freeing up some of your time?

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