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8 signs that you’re trying to do too much [and how to regain control]

It is common to feel overwhelmed with balancing work and family, but sometimes you may be trying to do too much – here are the signs that you’ve reached that point.



It’s common to be overwhelmed today

In today’s fast moving society, most people feel busy all the time. It’s easy to get caught up in taking care of your home and family, your job, and social engagements. If your calendar is out of control, you actually lose productivity.

Ever wonder if you’re doing too much? Look for these signs:

  1. Your health is suffering.
  2. You’ve stopped eating healthy foods.
  3. Acquaintances notice that you look haggard or worn out. It’s one thing when your spouse recognizes that you’re under stress, but when strangers comment on it, you are overly busy.
  4. You’re arguing with your friends and family.
  5. Frustration over normal circumstances. For example, road rage or flying off the handle at the dry cleaners.
  6. You’re missing deadlines.
  7. You’re always running late.
  8. You have no time for hobbies or exercise.

If you are experiencing more than three of these issues, you’re probably too busy.

How to regain control

Now that you’ve identified the problem, where do you start? Each situation is different, but I can offer some places to start. Take a good look at your calendar. What brings you pleasure and what doesn’t? What are your priorities? Figure out how to cut the things that don’t make that list. Maybe it’s time to hire someone to mow your lawn. Teach the kids to load and unload the dishwasher. Ask your spouse to help out with dinner one or two nights a week. Do this on the job, too. If you’ve taken on too many projects, talk to your boss.

Don’t take on any new projects until you get your schedule back in your control. Before you add anything into your calendar, think about it. Make it a rule that you don’t say yes until you’ve had time to consider how the activity will affect your life. It won’t be easy at first, but you’ll get there.

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Finally, unplug every day from your electronics. Set boundaries with your work life, so that you can enjoy your family and friends.

You can do this

I have four clients that all have different deadlines and invoice dates. At any given time, I have from 10 to 15 projects on my list. Granted, I don’t have young children to worry about, but I did homeschool, work, and manage my home while taking part in church activities. I know a little bit about taking on too much. I’ve had times in my life when I could take on more, but there have been times when I needed to cut back because of health issues or family needs. You can take the first steps toward gaining control over your schedule. Prioritize your activities and ditch the rest.


Dawn Brotherton is a Sr. Staff Writer at The American Genius with an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Central Oklahoma. She is an experienced business writer with over 10 years of experience in SEO and content creation. Since 2017, she has earned $60K+ in grant writing for a local community center, which assists disadvantaged adults in the area.

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