Over the past six months, my calendar has become a battle zone. Networking lunches, coffees, drinks, dinners and events compete for limited slots in the work week 鈥 I view the available slots as two per week day, excluding Friday night, which I reserve for Netflix and sleep. On the weekends, I鈥檓 so burned out that I try my best not to make any plans whatsoever, so I can spend time catching up on freelance work, Parks and Rec and sanity. When good friends ask, 鈥淒o you want to grab a drink and catch up this week?鈥 on Sunday or Monday, the next available slot is usually two or three weeks out. Let鈥檚 not play the 鈥淵eah, we get it Kelsey, you鈥檙e so popular鈥 game, because that鈥檚 not what this is.

It鈥檚 a serious problem that instead of saying no to anything, I just keep scheduling weeks in advance. At 23, I can鈥檛 make casual or spontaneous plans with friends. I love being busy, going to events and meeting new people, but even I can recognize that I鈥檝e gone too far. And since I know many similarly ambitious millennial women are facing the same issue, I thought it was time to ask some experts what to do about our overscheduling addiction and how to be more selective about our time.

1. Establish your priorities.

鈥淚t鈥檚 imperative that you鈥檙e able to prioritize all of the opportunities in your life and career,鈥 said millennial performance advisor Porshia Parker. 鈥淏asing your priorities on your values is an excellent way to remove any guilt you may have about telling someone no. Making a list of your top five values (freedom, career growth, family, money etc.) and comparing it with a list of all of the commitments (activities/events) you鈥檝e made is a great exercise. If a commitment doesn鈥檛 match with any of your top values, ask yourself: Is this something that is moving me closer to my goals? If not, consider canceling it.鈥

2. Share those priorities.

鈥淐ommunicate your goals with the people in your circle who matter,鈥 said career coach Angelina Darrisaw. 鈥淚n most situations, close friends won鈥檛 fault you for working late when they know you are chasing a promotion.鈥

3. Don鈥檛 say yes right away.

鈥淪low down and think before scheduling something,鈥 said millennial career coach Crystal Batya Marsh. 鈥淢any ambitious women have a tendency toward people-pleasing and are afraid of how someone else will think or feel about her if she says no. It鈥檚 important to consider for yourself, 鈥楢m I doing this because I want to or because I feel obligated in some way? Am I truly obligated or am I creating a story about the obligation?鈥 We sometimes go into elaborate storytelling regarding why we must do something, but the story might not be true. We are imagining how the other person is going to react before we鈥檝e even spoken to them. This is problematic because you can never know how a person actually feels or what is going through her head. Moreover, even if you could, it is not your responsibility to keep everyone around you happy.鈥

4. If you have to 鈥渟queeze it in,鈥 just say no.

鈥淲hen someone asks you to do something and you begin to think, 鈥榤aybe I can squeeze this in between my workout, meeting and emails,鈥 it鈥檚 a good indicator you should say no, said Val Matta, VP of business development at Career Shift. Tell the person you appreciate him or her for thinking of you, but you can鈥檛 help out at this time. Briefly explain the other commitments you have, and that you don鈥檛 want to say yes to something you can鈥檛 devote the amount of time required for you to do your best work.鈥

5. Use a printed, monthly calendar.

Theresa Sintetos, a millennial with ADD who recently accepted her first full-time job out of college, said she had to learn this lesson the hard way. I couldn鈥檛 agree more with her tip: 鈥淭hrow it back to a paper calendar. This may sound so pass茅, but buy an old school agenda and write in pencil. Calendar programs and apps are great but they often aren鈥檛 as flexible as your life is. Physical calendars allow you to write in the margins, create unimposing to-do lists and literally see your life laid out in front of you.鈥

6. Schedule in your personal time.

Like I do with my Friday nights, millennial entrepreneur Bonnie Treece said she has learned that she needs to schedule 鈥渕e time鈥 into her calendar. Even though I am fully aware that that time block is for nothing in particular, it allows me to say 鈥渘o鈥 to things I don鈥檛 truly want to attend because I can simply say, 鈥淚鈥檓 sorry, I am busy at that time鈥 or 鈥淚鈥檓 sorry; I already have other plans.鈥 Even if that time is spent taking a bubble bath, it matters and it counts! The key to managing your life this way is to keep that blocked-off time sacred. Do not allow yourself to book something work-related during that time no matter what. It鈥檚 important to realize that you cannot perform your job to the fullest or be the best friend, mother, or daughter you can be until you have completely taken care of yourself.

Are you guilty of overscheduling? Share your experiences in the comment section below.

This post was originally published on Levo League by Kelsey Manning.