Closed September 2017

“Overdoers Anonymous”

Todolistwithkeys2 I am often amazed at the list of activities we hear about our clients and members doing. People are doing all of the normal things in life along with things like homeschooling, cooking everything from scratch, growing and canning food, making their own clothing, caring for aging parents, volunteering, and the list goes on. Add up three or four of these and you will need to be fitted for a superhero cape.

I propose that you consider this Twelve-Step Program of Overdoers Anonymous:

  1. We admit that our lives have become unmanageable trying to do it all.

  2. We have come to believe that lowering our unrealistic standards can restore us to sanity.

  3. We have made a decision to reduce the number and frequency of activities for ourselves and for our children.

  4. We have made a searching and fearless inventory of our day planners.

  5. We admitted to our families and friends that we can't possibly keep this up long term, and we have donated our superhero capes to charity.

  6. We are entirely ready to buy a birthday cake from the supermarket and give up growing the pumpkin patch for autumn decor.

  7. We have humbly asked ourselves for forgiveness for not being perfect and not being all things to all people.

  8. We have made a list of tasks we can delegate and people with whom we can share driving duties.

  9. We have made direct amends to people we have harmed wherever possible, especially ourselves.

  10. We have continued to take personal inventory of our schedules and stopped ourselves from mindlessly volunteering.

  11. We have sought to improve our conscious decisions about why and how we are spending our time every day and outsource tasks whenever it makes sense for our families and ourselves.

  12. Having had an awakening as the result of these steps, we try to carry this message to others and pass it on to our children.

This twelve-step addiction "program" is a joke, but the message is not. Are you addicted to excessive activity? When you're quietly alone with your thoughts, do you enjoy your own company? Why are you so busy? It's something to think and journal about.

The above is an abridged excerpt from my new book. (Feel free to reprint or repost with proper attribution.) For some great time-saving ideas, we have a free 12-page report called "30 Ways to Find Time to Get Organized," available along with our wallet reminder sleeves when you sign up for our weekly newsletter. It might really help!

Follow me on Twitter for my Daily #ClutterTweetTip:


Allison Carter

This is genius!
I started outsourcing this year and am lovin it.
But a definite addict to activity. Thanks for the reminder to slow down.
— Allison


I have the opposite problem. I compare myself to my superhero friends and always come up lacking. I’m going to look at it from a new perspective now. I’ll cherish the relative calmness in my life and continue with the activities that give me great personal satisfaction. thanks so much for this wonderful eye-opener.

Eva Wallace

The year I had to go back to work but insisted on continuing to home school my youngest taught me that I can’t do everything. Well, that and a lot of tearful nights. I guess I’m kinda stubborn. It’s a control issue for me, and I’m learning how to let go of some of it. After all, who really has control anyway, right?

worker bee

I got a chuckle out of your 12 steps – very cute!
But canning? You must be joking. Just keeping up with the dishes is hard when you have to work 80 hours a week to keep your job in this economy. Ladies with husbands, or money…we workin’ class gals don’t want to hear it.
You don’t have to make that scrapbook or be fired, you know. YOU are in charge of your own to-do lists!
Count your blessings!!

Glenna Sadler

Okay, this is me as if I wrote it. I realize that I have taken on way to much, and I need to become gainfully employed to help my husband with our finances and still continue to homeschool our 10 year old. I have made steps to reduce my activities, particularly the ones that cost money, and am reducing my clutter with any extra time I can find. This may be a “joke” but it rings eeriely true.


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