How to Find Balance When Your Life Is Overfilled with Tasks and To-Dos
Are you Overfilled with Tasks and To-Do's?
Why do we strive to fill every minute of every hour with doing leaving little room for anything else?
I admit it, I rarely enjoy the checkout experience at the grocery store despite the fact that I’ve met some funny, kind, and engaging people while waiting in line. It’s the bagging of my purchases that makes my blood pressure rise. Part of me thinks that there is an unofficial contest between cashiers to see who can get the most products in the smallest number of bags. My cashier may win, but I always seem to lose, as I struggle to move the bulging bags even a few feet.
Yesterday, I brought six bags with me, more than enough to keep them a reasonable weight and make them easy for me to carry. Still, despite my hope that more bags would mean even distribution, I struggled to move the bag filled with milk, juice, fruit, yogurt, bread, kid’s snacks and cereal from the counter into my cart. Ultimately, with a thud, I made the move while squashing the bread, bruising the fruit and actually puncturing two yogurts along the way. At the end of the transaction, she returned my two remaining empty bags to me with a receipt and a smile.
That’s when it hit me: The woman filling my bag wasn’t worried about the weight; she saw a small pocket of space and was determined to fill it. She was not satisfied unless she was maximizing every possible inch available. It didn’t matter if I could lift it, what mattered is that she got it all in.
Holy Moley! We do that too! We strive to fill every minute of every hour with doing leaving little room for anything else.
We’re all too willing to forgo balance and believe that if our bags are lightweight, it makes us light weights. I’m here to tell you, that’s not true. Work-life balance is not about the scales, it’s created by our self-aware decisions about where we put our time and effort.
Ask yourself, how heavy are you packing your personal bags and what’s the risk? What are you giving up as the load gets heavier and heavier?
Do you need to join over packers anonymous? (Most of us probably do) Do any of these fill-it-to-the-limit styles ring true for you?
In a valiant effort to “do it all” and the belief that there will be time to sleep in retirement, what are you missing out on today?
Leaders also over pack not only their own bags, but also those of their team, especially high performers. Ask yourself: How can you show your value beyond pushing production levels to the limit? Are your expectations of yourself and others realistic? How do you know if you’ve put too much in the bag beyond waiting for it break?
Worth a Look: Daily LinkedIn routine for today’s super busy women
Let’s head back to the checkout line… What are my options at the store and how do they apply to your life and leadership?
Struggle, Whine and Complain
Bad choice, right? When I’ve said (louder than a mumble) how heavy the bag is as I’m dragging it to my cart, it does not make the next bag magically lighter, it just serves to annoy the cashier. Feeling like you are drowning in to-do’s? Trust me, whining is rarely the path to success.
I’ll smile and laugh about how weak I am while I remark that the bag is too heavy and it’s OK to leave some space. The surest way to increase our effectiveness is to leave room for more, yet resist the temptation to fill it. The unexpected derails us when we’re already at 100%. If you’re already there, speak up before you go past the point of no return.
Reorganize the Bags Myself
Sometimes I’ll suck it up, walk away from the checkout and just reshuffle and reorganize the bags myself. When I take things out of the bag, I’m empowering myself to make the decisions and not accept how they’re handed to me. It may seem counter-intuitive, but we can all take things out to lift more. Leaders can delegate and individuals can ask for help to lighten their load instead of waiting for someone else to do it.
Worth a read: Free Download - Make The Most of Mentoring
Buy Less at One Time
At the store, you can go once a week and load up or a couple of times to get necessities and meals. The same concept holds true for your to-do list. When you stop treating your to-do list like a catch-all, suddenly you’re focusing on the right stuff at the right time and getting it done. A lighter load leaves room to enjoy connection, relationships and have fun with the work instead of a constant “heads down, crank it out” mentality.
REMEMBER: It doesn’t matter if you can squeeze it all in if you can’t lift the bag. The secret to success (and work-life balance) is to pack in less so you can accomplish more and enjoy the journey along the way too.
IF YOU FEEL YOU ARE STRUGGLING WITH BALANCE, OR MAYBE YOU LACK A SENIOR WOMAN WITH WHOM TO DISCUSS YOUR ISSUES, TRY OUR MENTORING SERVICE.
Originally posted in Break the Frame
Found that interesting?
Learn more about our services
Make your dreams a reality with a professional evaluation of your career to date.
The evidence is in. More women in your company can deliver 35% greater financial returns. (Catalyst)
Download and listen free podcasts
How to Create an Effective USP What is a USP? Our Unique Selling Point or UVP (Unique Value Proposition) is our key core message about where...read more
How to Rethink the Modern Workplace for Gender Equality New research shows that diversity and inclusion is a top priority for leaders. So why...read more
Menopause in the workplace In this podcast with Nicki Williams award winning author, keynote speaker and Founder of Happy Hormones for Life,...read more
How to Cultivate Empathy in the Workplace Nancy Milton, international business communications expert, keynote speaker and author, share some vital...read more
Taking Care of your COW Tanvi Guatam, international Personal Branding expert says there is a misconception out there that a personal brand is...read more
The importance of Hard Talk Dawn Metcalfe, author of Managing the Matrix and Hard Talk, shares with us tips to achieve the lasting communication...read more
When Does Female Rivalry Turn into Sabotage There’s a lot of stuff written on social media about female rivalry and competition between women. Some...read more
Goal setting tips to boost your career The happiest people are those that really love their jobs. Those that don’t, dread Sunday nights and...read more
How to Get Noticed by Head Hunters & Recruiters In this power coaching podcast, we're going to tackle one of the questions asked multiple...read more
Marketing uses micro-targeting to appeal to female consumers, so why does HR not use micro-targeting to bring women into companies?read more
Is it always the personality trait you need to reach your goals, or can you reach a point when persistence becomes a fatal flaw?read more
The concept of using Facebook for job search may seem odd, but it is the future, and it will help women in the workplace.read more