Are you busy – perhaps so busy those looking in would say you’re over-functioning? To nearly any request that comes your way, do you say, “Yes?” Do you take care of others to the point they regularly look to you to do what they really could do themselves? Overwhelmed and stressed, at the end of your 18-hour day you are spent, exhausted, and, too often, feel under-appreciated.
Do any of these descriptions capture the essence of your daily experience? Here area few nuggets of advice to help you regain control.
Relax your standards, at least a little. Unrealistically high expectations are, ultimately, unsustainable and can damage your physical and emotional health. Perfectionism can be a wicked trap, an ideal that is unattainable.
When your plate is too full, say “No” or negotiate. Not sure how? Consider putting off the answer until you can form your comfortable “no” response. Or maybe you don’t know the right words to use to say “no” without feeling guilty. Real Simple’s “10 Guilt-Free Strategies for Saying No,” is a great place to start.
Stop doing for others what they can do for themselves. Instead, coach and encourage to build their confidence to act independently. Struggling with the notion that no one will do it as well as you? Will they do it well enough? In most cases, done is better than perfect.
If you’re busy, busy, busy, but you don’t feel productive, your real issue might be that you’re disorganized, or you’re not tackling your highest priorities when you’re at your best. Identify an organizing system that works for you, one that focus on how to make sure you’re getting the important things done.
So, the next time a request for your precious time and energy arrives on your threshold, before saying yes, step back and consider whether saying yes best serves you. If it doesn’t, honor yourself by kindly saying “no” or delegating to someone who will benefit from the experience.