Spoiler: if you’re taking on too much, it’s hardly ever worth it.
Sometimes “Too Much” is Worth It; Sometimes It Isn’t
When my dad got sick, taking care of him was one of the hardest and most physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausting things I ever did. But I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
I knew it was going to be hard, and take a lot out of me. So I quit my job, stop taking care of myself (not good), and pretty much did the minimum around the house, letting my family pick up the slack. Or not.
When I was much younger, and we needed the money, I thought I could help out by getting a full-time job, suit, heels, and all. I even got to be on TV once!
Our 3 kids had to go to daycare or after school care, but it’s what everyone else was doing, so I did what I thought I had to do. We needed the money, I was trying to do help, and even though it felt like I was taking on too much, I did it anyway.
I’ll tell you the whole story sometime, but bottom line – it wasn’t worth it. A good friend sat me down after watching me do this for months on end and showed me that just after gas and daycare alone, I was working for $20.00 a week! I quit about 5 weeks later.
It Doesn’t Have to be That Bad
Now you’re probably not in such an extreme situation, but I can bet that you’ve got more on your plate than you can reasonably expect to get done in a day. And I bet you pay for it – you have less energy, you’re stressed out, and there’s little to no fun or relaxation in your life.
It happens gradually, without you realizing it. At some point, you had enough to do that you could get it done easily. But then, someone or something comes along and adds a little more. And you’ve got time, so sure.
Or maybe you’re one of those nice people who just can’t say no. I bet you are. I think a lot of my readers are people who just genuinely like to help others, and will willingly take on another obligation, even if it means giving up time for themselves. If you read my newsletter, especially the last one, you know that I’m one of those people too.
Except for this week; I didn’t feel well, and while my inclination was to go and do what I had promised to do, I decided instead to take some time for myself. And I felt guilty about it because it was my volunteer work I was skipping out on.
What Are You Taking On?
I did a quick poll of my friends on Facebook recently asking them what their number one problem was with time management. Here are some of the answers:
- Volunteering too much
- Too many activities – taking on too much
- Raising a family and working
- Trying to find the energy to do anything else after they got home
Do you fall into one of those categories, or is there something else that’s taking your time? And more importantly, is it time you willingly and happily spend?
Because that’s the big key to everything. We all have things that we have to do – you may have a job, a house to clean, people to care for.
But you belong in there somewhere. You should be doing something every day – even for 5 or 10 minutes – that makes you happy. That you enjoy.
But I Don’t Have the Time
Oh, I’ve heard this one before. I’ve said it myself plenty of times. And you’re not going to like what I have to say about it.
You see, I started this blog to help people manage their time more effectively. And I write about productivity and organization and planners because they’re all tied together.
Being productive doesn’t mean that I’m teaching you how to get 8 hours’ worth of work done in 4. I don’t want to teach you to work more. I want to teach you how to use your time wisely so that you have time for fun and your family and for yourself.
So you don’t have the time, huh?
When was the last time you were on Facebook? Or Pinterest or Instagram? When was the last time you were on your phone without making a call?
Or maybe your thing is bingeing Netflix. And that’s fine, as long as you have done what you needed to do that day and that’s your way of winding down and relaxing.
But Did You Get It Done?
Did you get the things done today or yesterday or last week that were important and that you needed to get done? Or do you feel like a hamster on one of those wheels – running and running and never getting anywhere?
Before, I mentioned that maybe you’re spending too much time on social media, and that’s where your extra time is going. But it could just as easily be that you’re taking on too much. You’re the yes girl. The go-to girl. “Go ask insert your name here. She’ll do it.”
And now you’re stuck doing it because you’d feel bad if you quit. And they’ll make you feel so guilty if you try, that you won’t. Raising my hand here. Guilty. Of not quitting – not making someone feel guilty.
Or maybe it’s not even extra things like volunteering that’s zapping your time. Maybe just the everyday stuff is more than you can handle. For a lot of you, that means working and trying to keep the house up.
If that’s the case, then I can certainly offer you some tips on doing things more effectively.
Making Some Changes
The whole point, really, behind this post is this: maybe you need to make some changes.
And I know your first thought is that you can’t. Yes, maybe you have taken on too much, but all of it is important and you can’t let any of it go.
But you’re wrong. You can. If you want to, that is. If you really want it.
Say no to some things. Find something that takes more of your time than you would like, and either eliminate it completely or cut back. And be firm about it.
Learn to do things more effectively. That’s where I come in.
And we’ll learn some more about planning, too. Maybe with the right planning system (and no, that doesn’t mean planner so much as a system), you can get things under better control.
We can do this. There’s more to life than a hamster wheel. Let’s get off and see what it’s all about.
I would love for you to leave a comment and tell me what you think. Please do!