June 20, 2023

When You’ve Overscheduled Yourself…Again

What do you do when you realize that you’ve overscheduled yourself? I love saying ‘yes’ to things, but I can often find myself overburdened with too much on my list. Not surprisingly, this just happened to me, so I decided to process through it and turn it into a podcast episode to help those of you with ADHD that do this too! 

There have been so many new and exciting things popping up in my schedule lately: the kids are now on summer break, we’re going on vacation, I’m completing another coaching certification program, and…I’m starting a second podcast! All of these things are good, but it’s piled up to the point that I knew I needed to make some changes.

Listen in as I share 6 steps to navigate overscheduling to get back to a healthy, grounded place within your means. It starts with listening to your body mentally and physically and validating the feelings of stress and tension that are hinting that you’ve overextended yourself. 

I’m here to help you achieve without burning out, so come check out my group coaching program FOCUSED to start filtering through what matters most in your day to day. Plus, mark July 6th on your calendar for the launch of my second podcast!



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Kristen Carder

Welcome to the I have ADHD podcast, where it’s all about education, encouragement and coaching for adults with ADHD. I’m your host, Kristen Carter and I have ADHD. Let’s chat about the frustrations, humor and challenges of adulting relationships working and achieving with this neurodevelopmental disorder. I’ll help you understand your unique brain. Unlock your potential and move from point A to point B.

Hey, what’s up? This is Kristen Carter and you are listening to the I have ADHD podcast. I am medicated. I am caffeinated. I’m regulated and I am ready to roll. What’s up? What’s up? How are you? How are you so good to be with you today. I’m thrilled. Sorry for the like extra tone in my voice. But I am so thrilled enemy sharing some good news with you. I am actually recording this episode a month in advance. I don’t usually do that I’m not. I’m not that like person that works that far ahead. But I’m trying to prepare for vacation. Yikes. And summer, and kids being home and all of the things.

So you’re hearing this episode on or after it’s released date on June 20 2023. But today that I’m recording, this is actually may 23. And here’s the exciting news. We hit 5 million downloads today, 5 million podcast downloads. It’s such a huge one. I’m so thrilled. We did it. We did it. And by we I mean you and me we did this together. It doesn’t matter if I’m recording podcasts if you’re not listening to them. And you are so I’m so so so happy. It doesn’t matter if I’m putting the info out there. If you’re not enjoying it and sharing it and sending it to your friends, your family, posting it on your socials. Like it makes such a big difference. Your ratings, your reviews, all of it. It’s making this podcast work. And I’m just I’m so thankful I’m just filled with gratitude and joy and disrespect. Just respect not disrespect that sound like disrespect, but no, no, just respect for this ADHD community that is so vastly underserved. So thank you for listening. If you haven’t liked subscribed followed whatever your preferred podcast platform tells you to do, do it. If you’ve got ADHD, that means that your working memory sucks, which means that if you don’t subscribe to this podcast, you’re probably just going to listen enjoy it and then forget it exists, not because you don’t listen again. But because you just literally it’s like out of sight out of mind, I forget it exists. So which by the way is totally understandable because Hello ADHD, but just don’t forget to give it a like, give it a subscribe, give it the things that you need to give it.

Okay. So today we’re talking about what to do when you realize that you’ve over scheduled yourself. And this is going to hit home I think, quite quite hard. I don’t know it’s going to hit home. And it’s coming directly from my own life experience of the last couple of weeks. And the next couple of weeks. Ironically, I recorded that podcast on how to cut down on chaos. And then I effectively made my life extremely chaotic.

So now now, the podcast is what to do when you realize that like oh shoot, I’ve overscheduled myself, how do I get out of this? How do I make it better? What do I do? So I’m going to share with you what’s going on in my life right now. In order to give you some context, when I was sharing this with my focused coaching program community, I taught a class on this yesterday and thought it would make a great podcast episode and when I was teaching the class they were like you are stressing me out Kristen Carter. And here’s the thing like yes, sometimes our lives get chaotic and stressful. But I think seeing the reality of that is very important. And then knowing what do I do like Hello, it’s it’s stressful. I’ve overscheduled myself Now what the heck what now? Wow, if I could talk that would be great. It’s been a good run guys. 5 million downloads. That was fun. I guess I should close up shop now because I literally cannot speak okay. Now what the heck do I do? What do I do? What do I do now that everything is is closing in on me

And that’s exactly what we’re going to talk about today. But I want to give you kind of the scenario of what’s happening in Kristen Carter’s life right now. So that you can see that even like expert coaches, ADHD aficionados, they’re, we’re all gonna mess this up, I’m gonna mess it up, you’re gonna mess it up and how we recover is what matters. Included in this list of things that’s going on in my life right now. It’s a very exciting announcement is a really exciting announcement. Okay, so here’s the list of things that are going on, I’m gonna split it up between work things and home things. And if you feel yourself getting like, overwhelmed, Yeah, same. That’s just what I want to say. Same.

Keep in mind, I have known that these things were coming, I’ve been planning for them, I considered everything with my team, I made sure we had the space like I went into this. So I thought with my eyes wide open. So the first thing that started to happen in late April, early May, is that I have coach training evaluations, I have coaches that I am training. And I’ve been evaluating them, which takes a lot more time out of my schedule than just the regular coach training classes. So that was like starting to fill up my schedule I knew was coming. It was planned, it was on the calendar. But then I started to do it and and feel the effects of like, oh, this is getting, yup, this is starting to restrict my schedule.

We’ve been prepping for my Director of Operations, Felicia to go on maternity leave. And we’ve been prepping for six months. But now it’s like actually happening. And we’re scrambling to get the last things in place. And it just feels like a lot. We’ve been planning for months to start a YouTube channel, Hey, YouTube, excited to be here with you. I thought that it was just no problem that we can fit it in. But it’s taking a lot of time. And then. And this is the most exciting thing.

So here’s the exciting announcement I have been wanting for years to start a second podcast. And in the last six months, we’ve been prepping to make that happen. And so next month, on July 6, you are going to get a brand new podcast here in this feed called maybe I’m not the problem, maybe I’m not the problem, it’s going to be amazing. Do not worry everything with the I have ADHD podcasts will be the same. Nothing is going to change with the I have ADHD podcast, you’ll still get episodes every Tuesday. But in addition to that, every other Thursday, I’m going to drop episodes of maybe I’m not the problem, where I sit down with therapists and trauma informed coaches that I’ve been following on social media and dying to have long form conversations with and we chat for like an hour and a half, about trauma, and about healing and about all of the things almost like you listening in on a therapy session and you being able to take their tools and use them on yourself. Because some of you not all, but some of you are wanting more and more of that content, and I can’t wait to give it to you. What that has meant, though, is that I am now scheduling interviews in two hour blocks with all of these amazing people that I can’t wait to talk to you. But it’s a lot of prep. It’s a lot of time invested. I’m listening to the recordings and making sure they’re good. Getting it ready to launch O M G and this is all happening at once.

So my work schedule is like closing in on me. I have over scheduled myself. Did I mean to do it? No. Did I think it would be fine? Yes. Am I okay? Absolutely not. Okay. So in addition to this, it is may right now, obviously I’m recording this a month early. And I have three kids in school. And every parent out there knows what it’s like to have like the end of your stuff. Oh, Mg O MFG. This is so hard. And then I decided to take a coach training certification. So I enrolled in a certification program because I trained coaches, and I want to have a very well rounded background of trainings. And so I enrolled in an ICF accredited coach training program and it’s fine. It’s not amazing, but it is fine. But let me tell you about something. It is seven to 10pm Mondays and Thursdays and I want to cry.

I want to cry. I want to cry. So it’s like my work schedule is filling up and then also I go home and I have to go to class like my my home schedule is filling up too and I feel like everything is

Is constricting. And so I know that I’m not alone in this, I know that you have times where you’re like, wait a second, what have I done? I’m totally over scheduled. I don’t know what to do, I need help. And that’s what this podcast is about. So first, I wanted to show you how it happens to me too. Okay. And then next, I’m going to tell you exactly what I did to navigate it. And to be truthful, I’m still in the process of navigating it. But I did a lot of work in the last couple of weeks, to cut things out, and to make my life more manageable for me. So the first thing, here are the steps are you ready?

The first thing that you need to do is just notice it, your body is going to tell you when you’ve over-scheduled. And this is absolutely true for me. So what started to happen was I started to feel overwhelmed. I started to feel stress. And now I’ve worked really hard to Yes, I work hard at my job. But stress is not a part of my life anymore. So stressed out. Like that’s how I lived for the first 38 years of my life.

But it is not how I’ve lived in the last couple years, I’ve not been stressed out. I’ve worked hard, I’ve been tired, I’ve given it my all there have been flashes and periods of stress. But not like where I wake up stress, I go to bed stress, I get up in the middle of the night to use the restroom. And I’m stressed like that has not been a part of my life for quite some time. And I started to feel that creep in a big red flag for me where I was like, oh shoot, I need to make some changes is that I started to feel dread, I would wake up in the morning and be like, I can’t do it, I cannot do it, I would think about all I have to do at work. And then I would think about like running the kids around and then go into my class, which is like, just okay, like, I’m not loving it loving it. I was like I can not do it. And so dread, which is not normally a part of my life began to creep in. And my body was telling me that it was not okay.

Another huge sign for me is that I was experiencing a ton of muscle tension, neck, shoulders, jaw, so tense. And truthfully, as I’m recording this episode, and like talking through all of the things, I’m feeling the muscle tension creep in now, because maybe I’m just not as regulated as I thought I was, or just maybe talking about this is is making me a little disregulated because this is my real life that I’m sharing with you. And these are like the real things that are stressing me out in real time. So the muscle tension, the neck pain, the back pain, the jaw, oh my gosh, oh my gosh.

So I noticed, okay, something is going on with my body, my body is trying to tell me something. The second thing is that I began to validate. Instead of saying, I shouldn’t be feeling this way, I should have more capacity. I wish that I could do more, why can’t I do as much as my peers, I begin to validate it like okay, this is reality, my body is telling me something I am working outside of my capacity, I am giving too much. And I do not have enough downtime, I do not have enough alone time I do. I do not have enough free time. I don’t even have time to think like, this is not okay. And so instead of trying to gaslight myself into like, you’re fine, it’s no big deal, you’re being you’re being dramatic, you should just be able to handle this. Instead of doing that to myself, I validated my own reality. I validated my experience. This is hard. I’m working outside of my capacity. Something needs to change.

When we step into the reality of our capacity, that is the moment where we can make some changes. So many of us are living in a fantasy version of what we have capacity for we think that we can just handle it. And we force ourselves to do that. And that is not good. Because it leads to burnout. Inevitably, it leads to burnout. And then you’re going to shut down you’re going to go into the cave, you’re going to cancel everything, you’re going to leave your job, whatever the case may be. And then you come out of the cave and you overschedule yourself and you burn out and it’s just this cycle that repeats and repeats and repeats for the 82 year and we got to interrupt it and so validating the reality of your own capacity is the way to interrupt it that

That’s the way to do it. That’s how we interrupt this cycle. So I just was like, Okay, I’m working outside of my capacity I am trying to give more than I have. And it’s two things that I care about, I’m giving two things that I decided were important that I decided I wanted to do that I decided with my team that we even had capacity to do. But now I’m living in the truth of it. Now I’m trying to carry it out. And I have new information, I different information now.

Okay. So don’t should on yourself, don’t wish for different capacity instead, acknowledge the reality of what’s happening. So when I did that, I was able to then make some changes. And the first thing I want you to do is do an intake. And these are the three questions that you’re going to ask yourself, I’m going to go into more detail, but these are the three questions. What can I feasibly get rid of with very little pain? That’s question number one. What can they get rid of with very, very little pain? What can I get rid of that will hurt, but I’m willing to endure the pain.

And what do I want to keep? Even though it causes me pain? Okay, so first question for myself. And I’ll kind of show you how I answered this. What What can I feasibly get rid of with very little pain? For me, I sat down with Felicia, my director of operations, and we just went through my calendar. And anything that was not super important. We hacked it out of my calendar. So there were a couple of interviews that I had set up to be on someone else’s podcast, and we just rescheduled those. I’m happy to do it. I love being on other people’s podcasts. But now it wasn’t urgent, now’s not the time for me to be spending my energy in that way. And so we just rescheduled those. There was a couple from our church who I had planned to have over for dinner. I don’t know them super well, but I was excited to get to know them. And it felt terrible. But I was like I’m gonna reschedule dinner, it, it was a small thing. I knew that in the long run, it wouldn’t be a big deal. It’s on the calendar for June 23, three days after this podcast comes out. It’s no big deal at all. And so that’s just rescheduled, I took it out of May, which is like the month where I was really feeling the pain of this. And we moved it to June.

And another thing that I got rid of from my schedule is that I stopped writing podcast pitches for other people’s podcasts. I just was like, I can just stop doing this. I was doing it weekly. It took me about an hour. And then if they said yes, then we would schedule an interview, which just added more to my calendar. And so yeah, we’re gonna pick that back up in July. But now’s not the time for it.

Okay, what can I get rid of and endure the pain? So first of all, the biggest thing for me that I got rid of and really had to endure so much pain and shame was I moved the podcast launch of maybe I’m not the problem to July, it was actually supposed to come out in June, which nobody knew, but me and my team. But I still had major feelings about moving the date back to July, I had so much shame and I was thinking, you’re being flaky, your team’s not going to respect you, they’re gonna think that you don’t follow through on your word that you’re just trying to get out of this, that you’re just trying to make your life too easy. I mean, it was like really ugly in my brain for a little while. And even the way that I met with my team about it was kind of weird, because I like asked them permission. Are you guys okay with me moving this back.

And I, I see now, as I’m like talking this through that I kind of set them up to have to take care of me, which is just, that’s just not their job. But I was just feeling so much shame about it. Because when you set an arbitrary deadline for yourself, and then you don’t meet it, we as ADHD or as often just go through this cycle of like, I knew you weren’t going to do it, you’re not following through on your word, this probably isn’t going to happen anyway, this isn’t gonna work, you’re already pushing it off. And like all of those mean things that you say to yourself. I say them to myself, too. That’s just like normal for us is not nice, but it is pretty normal.

So I just allowed myself to feel horrible. I got coached on it by my coach, and I just allowed it to feel terrible. Like it felt awful. And I still decided to push it and it was the right decision to push it. I owned that like this is my own rule that I made up for myself. And then I’m beating myself up for not following it. And that’s really dumb. Like Kristen, we don’t need to do that honey. So I just I let it I really just let it go. And my team was like We don’t care. They didn’t.

I carry, they’re like, we’re happy to have more time. This totally makes sense. But of course, I was feeling too much shame to really recognize that in the moment. And now I look back, I’m like, Oh, honey. Okay.

The next question is, what do I want to keep? Even though it will cause me pain? This is a very important question, what do I want to keep, even though it will cause me pain. So, as I said, I’m enrolled in this ICF accredited coach training program, I want to be a very well rounded coach and leader who has trainings from multiple sources. And it’s important to me that as someone who is training coaches, that I am someone who is highly trained, I already know I’m super experienced, I already know I’m really good at my job. But I want to make sure I’m getting a well rounded training from different sources so that when I am training coaches, I am bringing as many skills to the table as possible. However, I’m not loving this coach training. It’s just okay. And so what do I do with that? What do I do with that it’s stealing so much time, it’s three hours on a Monday, three hours on a Thursday, and there’s eight hours of practice time that you have to put in as well. So it’s just like, it’s just a lot. Let me tell you, I really wanted to drop out. And the thoughts that I had, were like, you’re already a successful coach, you don’t even need this, your clients love your coaching, you’re changing lives, you do not need this training, just drop out, it’ll feel so good to drop out. And let me tell you, it will feel so I’m going to drop out.

But it would not be in service of my long term goal. It would not be in service of my future self. My future self wants to have a bunch of coach trainings under her belt so that she is a very well rounded coach, who is bringing a lot of skills to the table as she is training, ADHD coaches. And so I did not drop out, this was the main thing that I decided to keep, even though it caused me great pain. Because when we’re deciding whether to keep something or to hack it, we need to think about the long term benefit. Is this a net positive? Or is this a net negative.

So let’s just look at moving the podcast launch. Nobody knew about it, I was the only one feeling terrible about it, it doesn’t really matter in the long run. So moving that deadline does not affect the long term goal, it does not take away from what I’m doing in the long run, maybe I’m not the problem is going to come to your ears on July 6, it’s happening, it’s a month later, but it’s happening. So that doesn’t matter. However, if I drop out of this coach training program, when I look at the long term, when I look at the big picture, I see a net negative, I would either have to do the class again. Which would mean in the fall, I would be taking this class again. And I don’t want to do that to myself, like I would dread it all summer long. Or I just wouldn’t do it at all. And I would not be reaching my goal of having several trainings under my belt. Are you seeing where I’m going with this? So when you are deciding, should I keep this? Or should I get rid of it don’t think about today and how you’re feeling today. Think about in a month in two months? Is it going to matter? What will the net gain or loss be? And that’s how you can decide from a really executive brain place of whether or not this matters. Because if we’re choosing to feel good today, you better believe I’m cutting this coach training program.

I’m out of there, I’m hanging out with my family tonight, instead of going to that class, right? I’m going to be brawlers on the couch with a glass of wine in hand snuggling with my kids watching YouTube or whatever the case may be. That’s what is going to feel so good and relieving today, but in the long run in the long term as SNOWBOY now because I want multiple coach certifications under my belt, that’s what I want. So think about the long term, not the short term. Okay, the next thing that you’re going to do when you realize that you’ve overscheduled and you’ve combed through your schedule, you’ve gotten rid of what you want to get rid of, you’ve kept what you want to keep and you know that you’re just gonna like endure some pain. What I want you to do is set some boundaries for the future. So

I know that this busy, crazy version of Kristen Carter is going to be all done on June 1, Thursday, June 1 is the last day that this wild, chaotic pneus is, is showing up. And then after that, I’ve set some very firm boundaries with myself and my team to make sure that I have space in my calendar. And I’m certainly not doing any more trainings in the evenings ever again. And so you have to set boundaries for the future, you might want to endure the pain now, write of certain things that you’ve agreed to because their values aligned, you want to do them, you see that they are a net positive. But I urge you to set boundaries for the futures, that means you stop saying yes to things. That means that you create more space in your calendar, and you hop off the hamster wheel, there’s an end date to the hamster wheel and you don’t fill it back up. I think it’s very, very, very hard for us with ADHD to have any space in our lives. And I think that this, this would be a great podcast episode on its own. Why is it that we feel so uncomfortable? When we have time? And space? Why is it that our brains just crave filling it up and making ourselves busy? And I think that a podcast episode is there.

So maybe you’ll see that in the next couple of weeks, okay. So make sure that there is an end date to the crazy, make sure that you have relief coming. Do not just stay on that hamster wheel hop off of it set some boundaries, say no, no to yourself, no to your work, no to your family, whatever it is that you need to say no to do it so that you have space. And lastly, one of the things that happens when we are filling up our schedule, we’ve over scheduled, our lives are getting stressful, we’re feeling dread, we’re feeling all of those big, awful overwhelming feelings.

One of the first things that we do is we drop self care. And that’s exactly what I did. I just totally flaked out on all of my self care. It was not intentional. But because I was feeling so constricted, constricted in my work constricted in my home time, I just felt like everything was closing in on me. And I was just feeling really tight and really awful. And like I just need space, I dropped the things that were easiest to drop. And guess what that is making the effort to take my athletic greens every day, making the effort to schedule a massage and go to the appointment, making the effort to schedule an appointment with my functional medical practitioner and like make sure to be taking my supplements, making sure to get outside in nature, and walk or hike. Those are the things that I dropped, even though those are the things that make me feel good. And make me feel like I can handle my life. And so again, I am trying to show you that even high functioning, quote unquote experts in ADHD are still going to do this. We’re all going to do this. So don’t shame yourself. But just be like, Oh, right. That’s what I’m doing. I’m dropping my self care because it seems like the easiest way to create space in my life. So once I noticed that, I really turned up the volume on my self care. And I was like, Well wait a second. I need to be able to nurture myself so that I can handle my life.

If I’m not nurturing myself, how in the world am I going to handle my life and so I started up with athletic greens. I started up with massages again and hello jaw pain, like you need a massage my friend. I started up with my functional medicine practitioner. And that has been a game changer for me as well. I’ve been prioritizing, getting out in nature. Now I’m not doing it in the morning. Because in the mornings now because I’m so busy. I’m just staring at the wall. I’m just setting myself stare at the wall in the mornings. But I’m trying to get out after dinner. But before my class, make sure that I take a walk make sure I’m getting out in nature. It’s a priority again. And that’s so important because when we’ve overscheduled the first ways that we kind of accidentally inadvertently make space in our schedules is dropping all of the things that make us feel good. We drop all the things that help us to handle our lives. We drop all the things that make it possible for us to function and so I want to remind you to pick those things back up. We actually need.And to make those things happen, so that we can kind of survive this busy season. And

I invite you to make what you’ve decided to do fun. So I have this coaching class, I’m not really loving it, I’m trying to make it as fun as possible. I’m actually coming into work. I’m standing at my standing desk and walking in my walking pad. I’m fidgeting with my fidget spinners. I’m trying to like, make it as good as possible. I’m drinking wine sometimes don’t tell anybody. Like, it’s 10 o’clock at night. So maybe I have a little bit of wine in a cozy coffee mug. I mean, I’m just saying, hypothetically, that might make the class more fun. And it does.

Okay. So try to make things more fun. One of the things that I talked to my focus clients about when I taught this class yesterday is with the things that you’ve decided to keep on your calendar, you need to recommit to them every day, I am choosing to do this, I don’t have to do it. I’m choosing to do this. It’s like a vow renewal ceremony with your calendar. Like, I am choosing you again, I’m committed to you again, even though we made those vows like I don’t know, months ago, even though I made the vow to like do the podcast, the new podcasts and do YouTube and do this coach training class like I’m recommitting myself to it every day, I’m reminding myself of why it matters to me every day.

So I’m in during this chaotic season. By helping myself see that this is values aligned, that this is something that I’m I want to commit to that these are things that are giving me a net positive in the long run that my future self will thank me for and the hamster wheel has an end, I have an end date that I can say, alright, I can do this for the next couple of weeks. And then I have an end date. And so I implore you to also have that end date. Yes, get rid of anything you can get rid of, yes, get rid of things that even maybe are uncomfortable and endure the pain of that and the shame of that. recommit to the things that really do matter to you and have that vow renewal ceremony every day where it’s like I commit to the schedule, I want to do this schedule. This is a net positive schedule for me. And make sure you’re setting boundaries in the weeks to come so that you can hop off that hamster wheel and have a little space. If you’ve over scheduled yourself. You’re not dumb or crazy, or low functioning or you haven’t backslidden and your ADHD, you’re not regressing. You’re just human. Welcome to being human. I hope this podcast was very helpful. I can’t wait to talk to you next week. See ya.

Hey, ADHD, er, I see you. I know exactly what it’s like to feel lost, confused, frustrated and like no one out there really understand the way that your brain works. That’s why I created focus. Focused is my monthly coaching program where I lead you through a step by step process of understanding yourself feeling better and creating the life that you know you’re meant for. You’ll study be coached, grow, and make amazing changes alongside of other educated professional adults with ADHD from all over the world. Visit I have adhd.com/focused to learn more.

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