REFLECTION: “Look’s like your eyes are bigger than your stomach. Seems like you’ve bitten off more than you can chew. You took it, you eat it.”
I can’t pinpoint the precise source of those messages in my life. However, the cautionary notes still ring in my ears from time to time. These warnings also echo when I listen to clients despair about the overload and overwhelm in their workplaces and their lives.
It’s not surprising that we end up in an occasional or frequent state of overload. Here we are with this giant smorgasbord called life spread out in front of us. As we make our way through life’s buffet line, we’re sorely tempted by all the tantalizing possibilities on offer.
If you’re anything like me, by the time you get to the end of any food line (despite your best intentions to exercise restraint along the way) you can’t believe how wide and deep you’ve piled your plate. The same holds true when it comes to the number of tasks we load up as we travel life’s grand buffet.
ACTION: Research shows that the bigger your plate, the more likely you are to overeat. So it stands to reason, that one of the best strategies for cutting down on overeating is to start with a smaller plate.
A similar strategy might be worth exploring on the task front. When we assume that we have a full 24 hours up for grabs every day of the week, there is less reason to be cautious about the number and size of commitments we pile on our plate.
If, however, we first set aside a reasonable number of hours for rest, renewal and self care, we reduce the size of the proverbial plate we make available for life’s other demands.
Interestingly, investing those hours in self care also assures that we’re healthier, stronger, and better able to carry the load. It’s like trading in your saggy, soggy paper plate for strong, substantial china.
Try apportioning those self care hours first. See what kind of difference it makes in the way you load and carry your plate of life.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “Don’t dig your grave with your own knife and fork.” – English Proverb
RESOURCE OF THE WEEK: Setting priorities can be a daunting challenge. Here, with my compliments, is a link to a bundle of priority setting tools that I’ve provided to help you and your team or family decide what gets tackled first: http://www.pauseworks.com/renewal/documents/PrioritizingTools.pdf
READERS WRITE: In response to last week’s message, Asking For Help, Pause reader S writes: Recently, I asked for help because I was troubled by a personal matter as well as a job loss crisis. Responses varied tremendously. Some people seemed to view my requests as broad invitations to criticize, while others have been good listeners and have offered positive encouragement. This exercise has reminded me to be very discerning about my audience. Choose your confidants carefully – especially if you are feeling vulnerable.