My client’s answer broke my heart “long, exhausting and tiring”.
Realising that they were caught in a vicious cycle they knew they had to make changes before they suffered burn out. They were swamped at work and didn’t feel like they had the time to actually manage their workload let alone be a contributing team player. More and more they found that they were borrowing time from their personal life to ‘catch up’ on work tasks.
What to do?
Exercise? Gone. Healthy eating? Gone. Fun and recreation? No time! Then friendships began to suffer. The final straw was when family time started disappearing. For a while, they’d been able to justify it to themselves by thinking “well, we had that really great Saturday night together last week. It’s the quality of time we spend together that counts, not the actual amount”. But it was becoming harder and harder for them to focus and enjoy the interactions that were becoming less and less frequent.
So what did they do? Firstly, they took stock and applied the 4 Ds – Delete, Diminish, Delegate and Delay. Check this post out for more information.
Remember planning saves time. Take a breath and really look over those tasks. Hand back what you can, ask for help, delay non-urgent tasks, focus on the very essential items til you feel you’re no longer treading water. Over time, my client was able to see the light and began to feel grounded once more. Slowly, slowly, other parts of life (exercise, healthy eating and fun) returned to their daily routines.
Aim of the game
At the end of the day, in both the work and home categories, there are always more tasks needing attention than we have time to actually do. The aim of life is not to have an empty in-tray or no to-list at all but to manage the tasks that we have chosen to take on.
Take the time to think about how a project or task fits in with what you’ve already got on your plate before accepting responsibility for it. We’ve each got a finite amount of focus and energy – where is yours best spent?
I’ve developed a free resource to combat overwhelm – check it out here. I hope it helps!