Overcommitteed. No this isn’t a misspelling! “Overcommitteed” is the term I’ve just developed and come to use to describe the phenomena of being committed to too many different committees, regardless of whether it’s in our personal lives, professional lives or in our personal lives.
Today we find such meaning in the use of our expertise to help others that many of us would rather donate their time than their hard earned cash. Of course, there are many organizations that are looking for the expertise that we can provide to support them. I’ve been intensely interested in historic preservation – and so I volunteer a lot of my time and expertise to historic preservation organizations. The value to these organizations is that they don’t necessarily have to hire an outside expert to get quick information on a particular issue. I can provide it for them quickly and confidently at no expense.
So why do we do this? The value to the volunteers is that they gain specific real world experience that bolsters their career in a meaningful way and allows them to work in areas of interest. The trick to being successful in the volunteer world is to carefully manage your commitments so that you really do have the time to offer. Look for well run committees and ways to be highly effective in committees. A well run committee:
1. Has a clearly agenda and purpose
2. Has completed work outside of meeting times to prepare for the meeting,
3. Is well managed (on time, leader keeps the focus on issues at hand)
4. Includes highly involved, committed members
Are you overcommitteed?