Doing Too Much

Doing Too Much


In our fast-paced world, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by responsibilities and overbooked schedules. The pressure to constantly achieve and produce can lead us to do too much. This often comes at the expense of our mental health and personal relationships.

Signs You’re Doing Too Much

How do you know if your packed to-do list has crossed over into “too much” territory? Here are some common signs:

  • Feeling anxious, irritable and emotionally drained
  • Having little free time for self-care, creativity, or connection with loved ones
  • Struggling to fully engage in any one task because your mind is pulled in multiple directions
  • Frequently feeling tired, restless or physically unwell

Why We Do Too Much

In today’s success and productivity-oriented culture, busyness is often praised as a virtue. The more we take on, the more impressive or indispensable we may seem. Doing too much can stem from good intentions like wanting to help others or prove our worth.

On a deeper level, keeping constantly busy can be a way to avoid facing difficult emotions. By filling our time, we don’t have space to process painful experiences or unresolved inner conflicts.

The Costs of Overcommitment

While temporarily pushing ourselves has value, chronically overextending leads to strain. Researchers have linked busyness and information overload to higher stress, impaired cognitive functioning, decreased creativity, poor health choices, and strained relationships.

We may be so focused on checking off to-do items that we miss out on the small joys of living. Days blend together, and years can pass without fully engaging life’s beauty.

Creating Balance and Space

The good news? There are many ways to pull back from doing too much:

  • Track all your commitments, then thoughtfully assess what’s essential and what you can let go of
  • Build regular downtime into your schedule for relaxation and recreation
  • Set boundaries around work and technology use
  • Practice mindfulness to increase awareness when you’ve stretched yourself too thin
  • Prioritize connection with supportive loved ones
  • Express vulnerability and ask for help when you need it


What are the main signs I’m doing too much?

Feeling constant anxiety, irritability, emotional and physical exhaustion, lack of free time for self-care and relationships, struggling to fully focus on tasks, and frequently feeling tired or unwell.

Why do we overload our schedules?

To prove our worth and productivity, avoid emotional issues, or from overly optimistic planning. Good intentions underlie doing too much.

What happens when I consistently overcommit myself?

Research shows chronic busyness leads to serious consequences like higher stress, impaired functioning, lowered creativity, worse health choices, and strained close relationships.

How can I find more balance in my life?

Ways include assessing and letting go of non-essential tasks, scheduling in downtime, setting technology boundaries, practicing mindfulness, spending time with supportive loved ones, expressing vulnerability, and asking for help.

What if my workload is beyond my control?

Talk to managers about reasonable expectations. At work or home, advocate for your needs and well-being. Enlist others to share duties. Keep communicating until you find a sustainable way to prevent burnout.