A couple of years ago, I was sitting in terrible morning rush hour traffic . I had the window rolled down because it was a beautiful morning. There was a blue sky and a few fluffy clouds. Hundreds of others drivers were waiting on the parking lot known as I-70. To my left was a woman in a car with her windows down. She was on some kind of conference call. I could hear other voices through her car speakers. The voices were loud (plus, I am nosey). She was also drinking her Starbucks, eating her breakfast, and finishing her eye makeup in between responding to others on the call. In addition, she had a notepad beside her on the seat where she was jotting things down. It was like she was sitting in her office getting work done and in full multi-tasking mode. Except she wasn’t actually in her office…
From my client Pam, with her permission to share about the day before she met with me.
Pam sat down at her desk to finish a proposal. She closed her office door to signal to others that she was on a deadline and to not be interrupted. Fifteen minutes into working, her desk phone rang.. She ignored the call doing her best to stay focused. Then a message popped up on her computer screen. It was from a team member. There was a problem with the proposal that had been sent the day before. Pam tells them she will have to get back to it in an hour since she is on deadline. As Pam turns back to the work, she is distracted and has a hard time focusing 100% on the proposal. After a few minutes, she finally focuses and starts to work again. Within a few minutes, her assistant knocks on the door and apologizes but accounting has called and needs her receipts or she won’t be reimbursed out of pocket expenses for another month.
You may or may not see yourself in what you have read. The reality is that many try hard to do whatever it takes to get it all done. The truth is, we are never going to get it ALL done. Whatever “it” is. It doesn’t matter how efficiently you manage your time, what apps you use to keep track of your to-dos, if you eat and work, or if you check your email while you are on the elliptical.
When we are busy in life, it reasonable to feel tired and cranky. Right? BUT when we are dealing with breakdowns or challenges and skip rest and self care, stress has the tendency to be accumulative. Stress ignored can actually have BIG impacts on our physical health. Why we shouldn’t ignore stress.
I invite you to consider an alternative to being overworked. Living life as though you can get it all done, which you can’t, has a real impact on your physical health, mental well being and overall enjoyment in life. First, we don’t rest or take time off. Second, we put off the good stuff. Third, we work in an unsustainable way which causes breakdowns in our professional and personal relationships.
Taking the time off and taking good care of ourselves is what creates greater well-being. When we feel rested and clear, things that would normally seem stressful actually don’t knock us off our game. We can roll with the punches more easily.
I have found that the practice of both meditation and yoga have helped me get more balanced, think about my day and what needs to be accomplished and allows me to step back and know that I will never get it all done.
Some other things that can help when feeling overwhelmed and overworked:
- Find Mantras that work for you …
- “Peace is within my reach.”
- “Today I am going to relax and breathe. I will breathe through it all.”
- “Everything happens on the right schedule.”
- Visualize yourself calm
- Ask yourself if what you are doing is really necessary. Is the deadline real or did you self-impose the deadline. (Don’t make up deadlines that are unnecessary.)
- Set boundaries
- Think of Pam. If she set boundaries with the people she worked with, she would not have the interruptions she dealt with. Teach people how to interact with you.
- Be grateful. When you look at life through the lense of gratitude, something shifts.
If you want help working through current stress or need support to release recurring patterns of “getting it all done”, I would love to have a session with you to help alleviate your overwhelm. Book a session here.
Light and love,