Clutter in your home is something people can immediately see (unless you hide it well). A quieter form of clutter people struggle with but isn’t as readily apparent is with your schedule. You need to reassess your commitments and then make changes.

Reassess Your Commitments

Before you begin to work to reassess your commitments, it’s helpful to first evaluate whether or not you’re currently overscheduled. If one or more of these resonate with you, it will be helpful to reassess your commitments and then work on decluttering your schedule.

reassess your commitments

Signs you may be overcommitted:

  • You feel like you’re never home…because you’re almost never home
  • Your kids are grumpy because you aren’t getting enough rest
  • You double book yourself because you forgot your prior commitment
  • It’s extremely difficult to schedule a coffee date with a friend
  • Responsibilities slip through the cracks because you’re overwhelmed
  • You’re exhausted all the time

It has become the norm to have lives that are over-scheduled where we run from place to place. We can never seem to catch up and there are rarely moments of rest. Often in the haze of overcommitments, we lose sight of our priorities and goals.

To declutter your commitments:

  1. re-examine your why
  2. re-establish your priorities
  3. ask good questions
  4. impose boundaries
  5. plan for margin
  6. be committed to your commitments
  7. stay in your lane

Re-examine your why

Before you start looking over your commitments, first go back to your why. Ask yourself hard questions and take a look at your mission and life goals. If you aren’t sure what your why is, check out this post to gain clarity.

Re-establish your priorities

Once you have a clear vision of your why, re-establish your priorities based on your values and goals. If your priority is family time, check to see if your schedule reflects that. Examine where your priorities are (and are not) matching up with your current schedule.

We can say our priorities are whatever we want, but the choices we make will more clearly convey what we value. What does your schedule indicate that you value?

Ask good questions

It is so easy for our commitments to take over our lives without us even consciously realizing it is happening. Taking time to be intentional and examining our schedules is the first step in creating change.

I created the Priorities Assessment worksheet to help you reassess your commitments and to see where adjustments are needed. Fill out the form below to get your worksheet!

Impose boundaries

Having a clear plan for your schedule and your time makes it so much easier when you are asked to do something new. For any opportunity, ask yourself if it lines up with your values and goals and whether or not you have the time available in your schedule.

Just because you technically have the time does not mean you need to say yes. Be thoughtful and prayerful as you consider new opportunities. It’s a lot easier to wait to give an answer than to try and (awkwardly) take back your yes later.

Plan for margin

Resist the temptation to fill up your schedule. In order to not end up continually overscheduling you need to actually schedule nothing. Yep, that is how we have margin, my friends. We don’t allow invites to fill up all of the gaps.

We say no to events because we are going to stay home and do nothing. In a social media-driven culture, this isn’t easy. You may feel like you are missing out, but you can’t be everywhere all the time so inevitably you will be missing out on something. Just don’t let it always be rest.

Commit to your commitments

Once you are clear on the limited things you will say yes to, be committed to them. Our culture is trending towards people being less likely to show up when they said they would be there.

I get it. Life happens. Kids get sick, babysitters cancel, last-minute stuff happens and it isn’t all avoidable.

But how often are we not showing up to something we said we would because we just don’t feel like it? Or how often are we not participating and helping out because it takes a bit of extra effort and inconvenience?

While I don’t think we should say yes to everything, saying no to everything isn’t ideal either. Serve where you feel led to in order to help out your friends and community :).

Stay in your lane

This part isn’t easy, but it’s important. Stay in your own lane. Don’t compare yourself with others. Just because someone is doing a zillion things and appears to be handling it all well, does not mean that is the direction you should go (appearances are often deceitful anyway).

Honor your own needs, values, and priorities. Don’t try to make your life match up with anyone else’s or you’ll be setting yourself up for failure. We were each created uniquely with different talents, desires, and capacities.

Find your own dream and chase it. Don’t chase someone else’s.

Rhythms & seasons of life

There are rhythms to life. We were designed to need rest. In fact, our bodies rebel against us when we don’t get the proper amount of sleep. Our culture glorifies busy, but that doesn’t make it healthy or smart.

We’re the example to our kids for what balance looks like, whether we like it or not. Allow time for rest and play.

The concept of self-care is becoming increasingly popular, but often it is framed as an additional activity to do. I’m not talking about getting a massage or your nails done.

Self-care can be as simple as taking a few quiet moments to pray, read, rest, or relax. Whatever it takes to fill up your own cup. As a wise friend once told me, you can’t pour out of an empty cup.

It’s important to slow down and not continue going going going at full speed all the time. We need to slow down to be present and appreciate the people and things around us.

Challenge your assumptions

Challenge your own assumptions and ideas about what commitments you NEED or HAVE to have. Start conversations with your family about values and scheduling.

Feel like you need to cut back on your kids’ activities? Do it.

Need to take a year (or longer) off some commitments you’ve had for a long time? Do it.

Don’t continue hanging on to commitments when you are feeling called out of them because you feel guilty. You’re taking someone else’s place who may actually have the drive and desire for that role.

Want more margin in your life? Get the free Priorities Assessment worksheet to review your current schedule and make changes as needed to reflect your values and priorities.

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  1. Yes! Oh, I resonate with this so much! Especially ‘stay in your lane’. Today is my first day off work for a while and I was just thinking through all the things I want to get done today. I think some reading time and a nap need to go on the list!

  2. Such a great reminder of what we need to do. Throughout different seasons of life I have had to reassess my “clutter.” I think my favorite part in your post was planning for margin. I love the idea of not filling our calendar. It allows our hearts, minds and bodies to rest.

  3. Wow, I loved this line: “Our culture glorifies busy, but that doesn’t make it healthy or smart.” So much truth to that simple statement! It’s easy to forget that God designed us to need rest and that’s what is best for us. Thanks for the reminder!

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