OverYes’d / v. Accepting every task or position one is offered, to the point of being overwhelmed, stressed, and incapable of taking care of ones personal needs.
Have you ever OverYes’d? I have. At the end of my freshman year of college, I was signed up for my leadership positions for the following year. I was nervous and excited to be a Peer Mentor and a Co-Op Leader. Further, I would be continuing with the school newspaper as Distribution Manager and writing an article ever two weeks. Plus my 18 units of classes.
And then I realized something. I forgot to register for the housing lottery. As anyone who has ever played the real lottery (and those who haven’t) know, you cannot win a lottery that you have not entered. Well, shucks. So on the Thursday afternoon that I realize this I am in the RSA office caught up with grief and confusion. One of my colleagues comes in to hang out, and forces me to share my story of woe. I continue to express my confusion on how to acquire housing off-campus, how to find people to live with, and so on.
Then my colleague makes the simplest statement: “Just re-join RSA next year.”
I only saw one problem with that; all the executive board positions were filled. My friend reasoned that since there had been co-chairs before, there was no reason there couldn’t be again. I just had to ask someone who had a nominated position if I could share their job. So I became the Publicity Co-Chair, and had housing. Then one of my supervisors realized how much I was involved with and made me realize that I was going to have to drop something somewhere. Excited about all the potential in all the roles, I didn’t know what to do. So I sought council, and ended up dropping the Peer Mentor position.
So why do I share all this? Because at some point in life, I am guessing that you have OverYes’d to something. It’s a common thing amongst leaders. There’s an old adage about how if you want something to get done, you give it to the busiest person in the group. And oftentimes, the busiest person in the group will take it, and stress out about it, and do it. These are also the people who OverYes a lot.
How many of you have worked so hard, taken on so many responsibilities or done so many things that you haven’t been able to haven’t been able to take care of yourself?
It is important to remember that we need to have our personal recharge time. Don’t delude yourself. Burying yourself further in work is not going to relax you, even if it means the stress of those tasks are off your docket. Get up, get out, get away. Sit in the sun, dance in the wind, run through the rain. Enjoy time with people, because you don’t know what’s going to change tomorrow.