“I’m so busy.”
“There’s too much to do.”
Do you ever say that? Feel that? I do.
But sometimes, we’re our own worst enemy.
We can be the blame for our own overwhelm. Here are a few ways we sabotage ourselves, which fall into four categories of stress and opportunity, a line of thinking I’ve been considering lately.
H – Habits
O – Organization
P – People Skills
E – Email
- We don’t keep up with email. By not using the ADD method (act on, delegate, or delete) on a regular basis, we create a stagnant puddle of information that zaps a little bit of energy every time we look at it. (Email)
- We pack too much into a time period. I’m guilty of this. I THINK I know what I should be able to get done in a day, but don’t leave adequate breathing space to think, deal with interruptions, or account for technology issues. (Organization)
- We make relationships difficult. I like to say, “We don’t have time to be difficult people.” (Notice I didn’t say “be around” difficult people.) We can easily create energy zapping drama by misconstruing a colleagues words, being too sensitive to other’s tones, or snapping at those getting in the way of our agenda. This can lead to relational issues that take a lot of time to figure out, and may even draw from the energy of other co-workers or bosses that have to step in to get the parties on the same page again. (People skills)
- We don’t practice adequate self-care. You can’t pour from an empty pitcher. We need regular rhythms of rest and self-care to be our best for our work. But we cut corners on exercise, nutrition, and rest. Then we wonder why we feel grumpy or fatigued. (Habits)
- We don’t utilize good systems. We react to the tasks that come our way based on the urgency of the moment, rather than having an effective system in place to capture the task and assign it a time. I’m working on this myself–responding, not reacting. As an administrative professional, I tend to try to get everything done quickly, because it’s my job to take care of those details. But I can only take care of so many details in a period of time. It’s better to have a system to capture the tasks and plan a proper time to deal with them. (Habits, Organization)
So the next time you say, “I’m overwhelmed” ask yourself, “Am I overwhelming myself?” You may not like the answer, but honest consideration will help you make some changes.
One potential solution to overwhelm is to get some assistance. Our unique model of a virtual service collective puts a team at your disposal without the headaches of managing one, and the freedom to use us on a sporadic or minimal basis. Because of these flexible models, you can retain an assistant even if you don’t own your own business. Click here for more details.