Show Notes

Episode 13: Overcommitting

Being overcommitted often means being stressed. In this episode, Janine and Shannon suggest the hazards of overcommitting and ways to keep yourself from overcommitting. (Including ways to just say no.) They also discuss the value of building a buffer into your life.

Discussion topics include:

  • How Janine lived an overcommitted life for a few stressful years
  • Tips for responding to invitations to help
  • How to create that all-important buffer
  • How overcommitting contributed to Shannon’s chronic lateness problem (and how she overcame it)
  • The overcommitment antidote: How to figure out how much free time you have available so you can avoid overcommitting
  • How to evaluate whether you should say yes (or no) to a commitment


  • Cairene MacDonald was kind enough to allow us to share her tool for identifying how much free time you have available so you can build a buffer into your life. Just click here to view and download the pdf.
  • The July 2018 Professional Organizers Blog Carnival on the topic of Saying No. (Links to 15 blog posts all about saying no!)
  • Two blog posts from Janine: The Value of Saying No and Creating a Buffer.

3 thoughts on “Episode 13: Overcommitting”

  1. Is this the episode where Janine talked about a toothbrush with a timer on it? I would like to know more about that, please!

    1. Yes, this is the episode where I talk about reading while brushing my teeth. I think a lot of electronic toothbrushes have timers on them, to support the idea of brushing for two minutes. Mine gives a special pulse every 30 seconds, with the idea that you’re supposed to brush in each quadrant for a 30 seconds, and then shuts off after you’ve used it two minutes. I use a Philips Sonicare Essential Clean set that I got from Costco (, but many electric toothbrushes have this feature. — Janine

      1. Shannon here — I’ll add that I’ve purchased Quip toothbrushes for family members and they have the same thing, a pulse every 30 seconds to remind you to move “quadrants” for a total of two minutes. I don’t care for electric toothbrushes (the vibrations feel too ticklish to me!) but my family members like them.

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