The feelings are common to many of us who suffer from overachievement: a sense of dread when you review your ever evolving To Do List, a rush of anxiety when you realize you only have nine minutes before your next meeting, and exhaustion you can feel in your bones. You. Are. Overwhelmed.
Overwhelm can become a badge of honor in some organizations. And for an overachiever/high-performance type, overwhelm can become a near constant state.
So how do you break the cycle of back-to-back meetings, after dinner emails and weekend projects? You can start by admitting what you know is true: The work that has gotten you to the point of being overwhelmed may have brought you this far - but it is no longer suiting you. And, you need a new path.
Changing habits that may be decades in the making does not happen overnight (or even over weeks), but it can happen. Reflection about what your current habits are costing you is the next step (after admitting your current pace is not sustainable).
Get Started: Identify The Cost of Your Overwhelm Here are a few questions you can ponder during those nine free minutes that can help you begin to identify how you think about work:
What are the professional and personal costs to you because of how you are spending your time now?
What are things that you could be doing but can't because of your current use of time?
Are you addicted to putting our fires (being the hero feels really, really good!)
Think Pragmatically: What Can Change Now?
Then, think about what you can impact now to begin to get some time back. The trick is to not refill that time with more meetings and work - but work smarter.
What examples can you list where you are spending time on things that have limited strategic value or lack importance?
What examples can you list where you have a task or a meeting someone else could manage for you?
What is your mindset about giving up control or setting boundaries?
What would your ideal day look like in terms of how you spend your time - professionally and personally?
These questions are a great way to think about how you can begin to take back control of your work and your life. Working with a coach can help you dive even further and help hold you accountable for the real changes that have to take place for sustainable change - and recapturing the joy that should come with work and life!
We can help you maintain your effectiveness, while also addressing the root causes of overwhelm. Reach out today and schedule a quick conversation to learn more.