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The over-commitment principle — 2 hats or bust!

12.1.15-2-hatsWhat is your favorite type of hat?

Mine is, by far, baseball caps. I have a whole wall and more in my garage of probably 60 to 70 baseball caps. Right now, I’m wearing my Chicago Cubs hat with a Santa cap on the historic Cubs “C” — love it!

Whether or not we love to wear hats on our head, we all wear them in life. I submit to you that all of us should have no more than two hats of commitment at any one time in the major areas of our lives.

Here’s what I mean:

Keep your full-time life description to two hats. What is your full-time calling in life? Is it being a leader of a business, a stay-at-home parent, a student or a coach of a sports team? Mine is executive pastor of a church.

Don’t get me wrong; I realize that we all have a million things that are part of our full-time job description. But I submit that we all need two big buckets. For me, it is management and leadership. That is what I spend the most important chunks of my time doing.

If you’re a student, maybe it’s student and athlete or student and member of the student council. If you’re a coach, maybe it’s coach and teacher or coach and mentor.

Keep your part-time life description to two hats. By part-time, I mean the things that are the additional commitments beyond your full-time commitment. It might be coaching your kid’s team, serving in the church or in the community, working a side gig and so on. Keep those side commitments to no more than two.

Realize what happens when you break the two-hat principle. I have found in my observation, personal practice and counseling of people that one of two things happens when this two-hat principle is broken. Either the person burns out, or one or more of the commitments is short-changed or done at a poor level.

Recently, I had to resign from a board commitment I had made. I hate — and I mean hate — not following through on a commitment. However, I realized that I was short-changing my full-time commitment: my family and my board commitment. All of them were suffering as a result of my over-commitment.

Don’t allow burnout or shoddy performance creep into your life.

Realize what’s most important. In all of this, I am assuming two very important things: 1) that you are putting God and family first in your lives, and 2) that we all have different seasons of commitment bandwidth due to life stage.

For example, my wife Rachel couldn’t do any part-time hats when we had three kids ages 5 and under in the home. Now that the kids are in college, she has the time for hats.

And remember that different people have different capacities. Typically, this best plays out in the size of the hat, not the number of hats.

There is some wisdom in Ecclesiastes 3 where the author Solomon states that “there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” You don’t have to do everything all at the same time. Take one or two commitments at a time and you’ll be at your best!

EricRojasEric Rojas loves his role as the executive pastor of Christ Community Church in St. Charles, IL, where he oversees a staff of 120 and serves alongside Senior Pastor Jim Nicodem. He has been on staff at CCC since 2000.

During his 20+ years of ministry, Rojas has served in churches as a youth pastor, adult ministries pastor, small groups pastor, associate pastor, worship pastor and men’s pastor. He is a contributing author for Group Publishing’s Men’s Ministry in the 21st Century and has written for various magazines and websites.

Rojas also serves the church-at-large through consulting and seminar presenting.

He has been married to his wife, Rachel, for 22 years. They have 3 children — Luke, 21; Adam, 19; and Chloe, 17. A man of faith, Rojas believes that next year is the year the Cubs will finally win the World Series.


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