Many of us have heard the phrase, “If you want something done, ask a busy person”. Busy people are seen as reliable problem-solvers with supreme planning skills. They’re often thought of as the person who can beat Murphy’s Law because they have a solution before the problem shows up.
It’s a great set of skills. Enviable even. But what happens when busy becomes a way of life and women take on more than is possible to manage in a reasonable time frame?
Here’s how it might look. You’re happy that people feel they can count on you. You have several projects, responsibilities, events and promises to manage. There’s no or very little white space/transition time in your calendar. If anything goes wrong, everything goes wrong. You’re pushing yourself to get things done.
Pushing means getting up early and/or staying up late. Sleeping less or having poor quality sleep. Skimping on your self-care plan. Neglecting routine activities like laundry or sorting mail. You can’t be in the moment because you’re thinking about what has to get done. You miss what’s in front of you because you’re busy thinking ahead, worrying about getting it all done.
Eventually, there are a few too many piles. But perhaps you keep pushing working to get it all done because “you promised” or “you committed” and you don’t want to go back on your word. And after all there are boxes and closets and drawers for things that are in the way right now.
You may even get all the tasks accomplished but in the end you don’t have a sense of what any of it has to do with who you came to the world to be. We can get so caught up in doing things and meeting deadlines that we lose track of our why.
But everyone around you thinks you’re okay. They’re amazed at your problem-solving abilities.
Other times, you may have set a goal. You have a clear picture about how it will look in the end. You set up a schedule and get busy like the best planners and problem-solvers do. You know how to plot your path to a goal.
Each day you’re pushing, putting in extra hours. Doing a little here and there and in between other activities. At first, it’s exciting and energizing. But in time, you have difficulty slowing down. At night, you’re thinking, “How could the day be over? I didn’t finish yet. There’s so much more to do. How will I ever get to this goal?”
You end up with feelings defeat. So, now you’re questioning and doubting yourself. Again, we can get so caught up in getting to the goal that we forget why we’re going there. We’ve disconnected from our purpose.
But everyone thinks we’re just fine.
This is not a pretty picture. Once we’re here, we’re taking twice as long to do half and much. We’re still pushing but we’re drained and unsatisfied.
No one envies this position.
Here are 5 steps to slow down, shift out of push-push mode and move forward with ease:
Pay attention to signals from your body, thoughts and emotions. Fatigue, tension, worry and doubt are signals. Stop and take a look at what you’re doing.Breathe. Your body and mind are asking for a moment. Give it to yourself. Then, take a serious look at your self-care plan. Be sure to actively engage in self-care throughout your day. Use this as a guideline: The more we have to do, the more we need to do for ourselves.
Ask yourself if what you’re doing is very urgent and high priority. If so, it’s worth your time. If it’s low urgency and low priority, it can be done later. Consider what can be delegated. Be sure to use all of your resources wisely. You don’t need to do everything yourself.
Track what you’ve accomplished as you move along and congratulate yourself for it. I mean really congratulate you. I’m a visual person so visual tracking helps. It can be as simple as a set of sticky notes on a timeline indicating what I’ve done to date. A checklist is also a good visual reminder of accomplishments. When you do something for or give to someone, notice the gifts that you receive. Stop a moment. Remember that giving and receiving are the same. When you give, you also receive. Give yourself time to get the gifts from you work.
Re-evaluate your timeline. Goals require time. Sometimes projects require a longer timeline. In addition to the goal, consider how it fits into your bigger picture. Connect the goal to a bigger picture. For example, if you’re working on a business or career goal, examine how it fits within your mission for your work.
Stay connected to your life purpose. You may have a range of missions at work, in your business, for your family or in your community efforts. Your life purpose is what brings meaning to all of these missions. You share your life purpose in your family, career, community and the world. If you believe you’re here to be a teacher, motivator, catalyst, healer, transformation specialist, innovator or any of the many magical ways you can do good in the world, stay connected to it. If you’re a motivator, you may find yourself offering inspiration to people in various parts of your life. You may be a good role model for strategies that spark creativity and critical thinking. These are skills that you share in every role you play, on every mission that you accept. Your family, colleagues and community all benefit from your gift. Periodically, ask yourself, “What does this have to do with who I came to the world to be?” Be sure that you can connect your activities to your life purpose. Then, experience the brilliant energy that moves you to higher heights with ease.
If you need support, contact The Living Source. We can help you uncover your “why” and create a personalized plan to increase your productivity, passion and presence. Click this link to download your free copy of our EBook, “Plug In To The Power Of You”. You get a checklist to take your energy pulse and a list of strategies to revive and recharge yourself throughout the day.
© Sandra Y. Lewis