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S01E30 – So You’re Overcommitted. What Can You Do?

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Muslim Life Hackers

Channel: Muslim Life Hackers

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Episode Notes

We have all been there, you have so much to do and so little time. It seems like people are asking you to do more and more and you have agreed even though you know you shouldn’t have. You’re overcommitted.

In this ever expanding world of ours, we are continuously exposed opportunities and they just seem to pile up on our to-do lists like mountains. It can get very overwhelming! If you find yourself feeling like you have your head under water, and are cracking with all of these endless commitments, this episode is for you.

In this episode I talk about how we become committed, reasons why we take on more when we know that we shouldn’t, and 6 strategies to help you get back on track and manage your time better.

Episode Transcript

© No part of this transcript may be copied or referenced or transmitted in any way whatsoever. Transcripts are auto-generated and thus will be be inaccurate. We are working on a system to allow volunteers to edit transcripts in a controlled system.


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Episode 30 Welcome to the Muslim life hackers podcast, the weekly podcast providing you with tips and tricks on how to hack your life and maximize its potential. And now for your hosts Mithra maroof and Mahima lake.

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As we said, across the sea

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Assalamu alaikum. It's mahane Malik here, and I'm going to be your host for today's podcast. As usual, you can find all the links and resources mentioned in this week's podcast in our show notes at Muslim life hackers.com forward slash 30. That's the number 30. Now I hope you're feeling refreshed and exhilarated after a fantastic evening Ramadan, I know I am. But I could have eaten a few less. So Moses. That's a whole nother story. And I'm super excited to be recording today's podcast, not only because it's about a topic that I've become very passionate about, and that I'm hoping to improve myself on even more. But also because I haven't recorded a podcast in a while just

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due to working through the last 10 days of Ramadan and eat and all that. Well, you know, I kind of missed recording and, you know, no, but moving on. today's podcast, as you know, is on over commitment, and what to do if you find yourself in that situation. Now, we've all been there. And I know you know what I'm talking about the situation where you have things stacking up, left, right center. And he just got so much to do in so little time. And people just keep asking him to do more and more use just more and more thing. Now I've got a bit of a story to tell you about a year ago, imagine this I was going through one of these really super over committed busy periods in my life

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where I was just juggling massive amounts of study for university, working with a few clients as a therapist volunteering for multiple Sonic organizations, as well as organizing women's conference helping a friend with their personal issues. And working on launching the Muslim life hackers podcast with nefra. Plus, there was also some typical family drama going on that was frankly, just eating my head, things were seriously falling through the cracks. And I was missing out on important days, my family not doing doing justice to my studies that I had taken on. And I was having to cancel work with my clients not delivering on tasks. And I was letting my friend down with some

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left, I guess tasks as well as the rest of the team. But actually, it was just me and my back then. But you get the point, as I was going through this huge busy period of just so many things to do, I received an email that email the email from one of my clients, one of my therapy clients that is telling me that I was just not measuring up, I was not keeping my commitments to them, and they were gonna have to let me go.

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I was devastated. I had never been fired from a job before. And because I just, I used to take so much pride in what I did. And that email from my client just completely threw me off. And I was like, What is going on? That just happened to me, I was like, This is not who I am, you know. And finally, I had a good look myself. And I had to admit that, you know, I had to step back and admit to myself that, you know, I was over committed, I had too much on my plate. And I wasn't able to deliver quality to the projects that mattered most like my family, my work my serious work as a therapy for clients, and so on. And if I didn't do something right now, this over commitment thing

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that I was going through was really going to help me professionally as well as personally. So I started to make some serious decisions and implemented a few strategies to help me with my commitments. These strategies have helped me a lot though, though my life is far from perfect. I still have those super hectic weeks, where, you know, schedules and appointments and like, you know, perfectly planned days just go right out the window. And actually had a few weeks like this just before Ramadan when I was preparing for exams, among other things, but I could see that at the end of the tunnel and I soldiered on, and sometimes you don't you just have to do that. I just want to

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briefly talk about why we get over committed, I thought a lot about this point, like why do we have a committed like what makes a person agree to take on more when they know that they shouldn't. And after some of self reflection, I analyzed the circumstances which will leading me to become over committed, I'm sure that these circumstances are similar to yours. Like for example, someone would come up to me and they'd be like, Oh, hi mean, how's it going? You know, you know, can you help with this, this blah, blah, blah, etc, etc, this organization, this charity, and I'm just like, yeah, even though on the inside of my head, I'm screaming. No, I can't.

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And I have this problem. And I know many others do too. We just have trouble saying no, it's it's just

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A two letter word. But when someone asks you to commit to something, it's like you just can't say it, you just have to say yes or something. But more about this in our strategies, I want to briefly talk about what Islam says about this over committing behavior. And even within our religion, in an instant, which is, the practices and things are a prophet peace and blessings be upon him, or Amanda to do within our means and not go to extremes, which was not over commit to things not only within our Deen, but our dunya, meaning worldly matters. It's so relevant, I just want to relay a hadith from Samson. And it's a hadith by incineration from a deliberate armor, and he's having conversation

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with the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him. So it goes something like this. And the armor will be pleased with him said that I used to fast uninterruptedly and recited the whole Quran every night, meaning that he would post every day back to back and recite the whole Quran in just one night.

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And a word of this practices that he used to observe God to the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him. And so the Prophet sent for him and he said, peace and blessings be upon him, you know, I've been informed that you fast continuously and recite the whole Quran every night to which Abdullah replied, Yes, that's correct. You know, I only want good, the prophet said, you know, he said something really profound. He said, You know, it's the fastest for you that you should observe the fast for three days during every month to which Abdullah bin Omar said, you know, I'm capable of doing more than this, the prophet said something else. And then he said, your wife has a right upon

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you, your visitor has a right upon you, and your body has a right upon you. So observe the fast of David, that this goes on where I've been over, tells the Prophet that he can do more, and they eventually agree. And eventually, the prophet tells him to fast alternative days and recite the Quran in within a week. Because once again, he's, he says, again, you know, what your wife has arrived upon you, your visitor has arrived upon you, and your buddy has read upon you. And I think this hadith is just so awesome, because even back then the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him recognizes that, you know, this over commitment, it's just not sustainable. And we need to, we need

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to think about other areas of our life, like, for example, our family, our body, you may be working back to back on like projects for other people. But have you thought about your own well being your own mental health, your own physical health, maybe your relationship with your spouse, your family, your siblings, when you take on a commitment, it means that you've got less time to do other things. For example, you might say yes to working to volunteering for an organization. And that just means less time for you to like, work on your camera citation, or spend time with your family or focus on your studies. And with that being said, I've got six strategies to help you manage when you're over

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committed. And I really believe that these will aid you in managing your time better, and it's helped me I still struggle sometimes. Don't get me wrong, and I failed to deliver sometimes. But I'm getting better with healthy strategies and with the help of Allah subhanaw taala. Yes, so let's get into it. Strategy number one, own the commitment. Now, he needs to recognize that no one else put you in this situation, we all have a choice. And you can choose to say no, no matter like how hard it is. But once you've committed to something, acknowledge that you've given your word. And as a Muslim, this is very important. And in Episode 22 of them some effects podcast Mishra talks about

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the importance of being punctual, and how when we give our work to do something, or be somewhere at a certain time, as a Muslim, this is similar to giving a promise. And I wasn't taken into account, but by our Lord a lot. So don't take your commitments lightly. And this is why it's so important to be careful while making commitments because you've made a promise you know, you've agreed to do something for someone you've agreed to be there be there at a certain time, you've agreed to like deliver something, and you need to honor it. It's your commitment. A good news story about like this whole issue were a while ago, a friend of mine asked me for help. And she wanted to meet up to

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discuss the situation which I agreed to do so reluctantly, as I was like, you know, once again, I was juggling a lot as a date for our meeting came closer, I was asked by another family member to come over and visit them on the same day. And this was a family member who I hadn't seen in a while and I actually really wanted to see I was really excited to see them and to see her and her family but I had the commitment to my friend. So I told my family member that look you know, I'm have to see someone else. To which my family member replied, look, just tell your friend that you're sick or something. And I thought to myself, Ooh, okay, this is getting to like, you know, like I'm getting

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into hot water right now. What should I do you know, this is this is the kind of situation where if you have

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have too many commitments and you're not being responsible and owning them, you might be tempted to lie to get out of bed, which, again, is a sin in itself. And it just you're just digging a deeper hole for yourself. So own the commitment and follow through because no one else is responsible for it. And you're the one that needs to make it happen. A strategy number two, analyze why you're saying yes, think about the times where you have agreed to do something for someone, or you've agreed to do something at all, when you probably should not have. Could it be that you're feeling guilty? Like you feel guilty? If he said, no, maybe you fear disappointing people, perhaps you like

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the feeling of being needed, or you're addicted to the drama like, Oh, my God, they asked me for help. I feel so important, blah, blah, blah. You know, don't get me wrong. Like, sometimes this happens to me when someone asked me to do something, and I'm just like, Oh, yeah, you know, they need my help Superwoman to the rescue. Like, it could be that you're addicted to this drama of perhaps living a hectic lifestyle, that some people just love the rush of doing many things and being needed. Or perhaps the reason that you're saying yes, is because you feel like you missed out, if you don't like, you might be like, oh, everyone else is volunteering, where everyone else is like

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doing this activity, you know, I want a piece of the action, you know, you could do one of those people. But think about why you're saying yes. And be be more aware of the situation, understanding the psychology behind why you give the answer, yes, we give you a bit more courage to start saying no, for example, if you know that, if you say no to someone, you're gonna feel a bit uncomfortable, you're gonna feel a bit of guilt at a time. And you know, that, you know, this guilt is causing you to take on more and more commitments, because, you know, you just don't want to disappoint people, when it comes to the situation, again, where someone's like, Oh, can you help out with someone? And

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you know, that it's guilt? And like this discomfort, you'd be, you'd be better able to say no, because you understand the fact that, you know, this discomfort is only momentary, like, for example, you could say no to someone and feel a bit uncomfortable for a few minutes and be like, Oh, you know, I let them down. But then in the long run, you'll have like, many, many days of like, not feeling guilty, and you'll be like, Oh, thank goodness, I said, No. And the positives far outweigh the negatives. Alright, so that's number two, strategy number three, eliminate delegate or negotiate. Uh, what I want you to do is write down all of your commitment, everything that you have

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to do for the commitment, who you owe stuff to, and have a look at the list that you've written down? are the ones that you can eliminate straight away, are they even necessary? Can you get rid of them right now, then do it next, look at the remaining tasks are the ones that you can delegate, perhaps to someone better suited to do the job, perhaps the someone more willing to do to do the job, delegate the ones that you can. And if you're in a position where you've got a team, and you know, other people in your team don't have much to do to take advantage of that.

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And finally, like with the ones that you can't eliminate, or delegate, you can negotiate call up whoever that you've made the commitment to email, text, whatever, and ask to respectfully let you out of the commitment if they can, or asked to, you know, kind of like, negotiate, you know, maybe the deadline, maybe they can give you a few more resources to complete the task. Or maybe they can move the deadline further, so you have more time, and also stressed out, maybe they can lighten the load for you or give it to someone else. Be respectful and honest when you negotiate with someone that you've made a commitment to. And and know that most often people are kind enough to let you let

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you off the hook or are happy to change deadlines. So take that into account. Strategy number four, keep going. Now, for example, you may be he may be feeling overwhelmed at the moment, and you will be feeling like you're over committed, this could just be a season in your life. Like for example, what I was mentioning earlier, when I was having exams for Ramadan preparation with Ramadan, I was feeling quite stressed out and overwhelmed. But I could see like the light at the end of the tunnel, and I knew if I just, you know, kept going, it would be over soon. So if you know that this craziness is just for a short period of time, just remind yourself that you know, it's only

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temporary and inshallah and you'll have ease shortly. But in the case where your commitments are, they don't seem to have an end. This is when you really need to evaluate and maybe implement a few of the other strategies I mentioned. Strategy number five, create your perfect week. What I mean by this is, now I've created a kind of template for my perfect week. It's just a calendar on Sunday through to Saturday with all the hours of the day basically, I've just scheduled my week in my perfect weekend with the mindset that everything goes perfectly. So for example from I don't know Monday 12 to three I've a lot of times or by studies have scheduled in time for my sleep

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Blackfriars.

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But I might sleep from like, you know, 10 or 11, through to like five in the morning or something.

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I say to that half asleep, I schedule time for family time exercise, say, for example, as his retirement after fudger, every day to do exercise of such a scheduled time when most of life is task, and I'm also scheduled in the time needed for work with my clients. And from there on, I could have a look at my calendar and see, you know, how much white space do I have? How much time realistically Do I have to dedicate to another commitment? So for me, after I look at my perfect week, and I had take a look at how many hours I have left that a free, I kind of estimate, you know, realistically, can I take on another commitment? How much time would I have to take on another

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commitment kind of thing. Plus, could I take a commitment and still have time for myself, you know, like me time, because you don't want to come that that has no whitespace like, for example, you're doing something 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and there's just no time to breathe. So for me realistically, I hope could maybe take on one other commitment in my week 101 and a half, but you'll count your counter might be different, you might have more whitespace. Therefore, you might have more time to take on other commitments, or you may not have any time whatsoever. And therefore you need to go back to strategy number three and eliminate delegate or negotiate this commitments. So

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before you take on another commitment, look at your perfect calendar, and think do you have time to realistically take on something else? Okay, strategy number six. And this is our final strategy, which is make the decision to change. Your commitments won't change until you do. So be more intentional with them and start saying no to things that are not bringing you closer to your goals and taking quality away from other things. Because essentially, once again, when you say yes to something, saying no to something else, for example, you're saying yes to helping your friend with a project, you're saying no to more quality time or you're saying no to more quality in maybe your

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studies or you're saying no to like family time are you saying no to time in which you dedicated improving your personal development senior takes courage. So ask Allah subhanaw taala to help you be more concise and give you the strength to say no, because strength comes from him. Subhan Allah tala time is definitely a finite resource. So you need to spend it wisely. So there were the six strategies I had for you today. And just to recap them, they were strategy number one, own the commitment. Number two, analyze why you're saying yes, strategy number three, eliminate delegate or negotiate. Number four, just keep going is there light at the end of the tunnel? strategy number

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five, create your perfect week. And strategy number six, make the decision to change. Okay, so before we end off, I hope you've enjoyed today's episode. If you have, don't forget to share the love by tweeting a link to the show. Get in with some life hackers.com forward slash love and tweet away. This helps us a lot to get the word out there to others about the show. And it really helps us visibility. And as mentioned earlier, all the links and resources from this episode can be found in our show notes at Muslim Laffer his.com forward slash 30. That's number 30. So that's all for today. Until next time, folks ACI take action