I stumbled across this article over the weekend and it really resonated with me and I had to share. You should take the time to go read it and come back, but honestly, Seth Levine’s 5 points are really all you need to know.
- Slow down.
- Spend more time with the people I love.
- Define myself more through my relationships than my work.
- Speak out.
I can sympathize with Seth and everyone else as I feel like a lot of us fall into this trap of always trying to take on more and more. Then eventually we hit a wall and have to assess our current situation in order to try to redirect our efforts. That happened to me about 9 months ago when work was getting busier and I was still involved in a lot of other volunteer projects and side projects. I think it finally hit me when I was at a couple of my son’s basketball practices and realized I spent the whole time in the hallway on a conference call for a non-profit I volunteered for. During this same time, I was getting swamped with some side projects I was working on as well as since it was that time of year when lots of work needed to happen with them.
So I took a step back with all the information I had and told myself pretty much the five steps that Seth outlined above. I NEEDED to slow down, I was doing extra things outside my day job that was cutting into my other relationships (i.e., Family and Friends). Ultimately, I knew nothing could change right at that moment as I had made commitments to the people counting on me for the side project work that was being done and the non-profit needed me till they found a replacement. I decided at that point I wanted to take the step of letting the non-profit know I had to move on. I don’t have anything bad to say about the non-profit and in fact, I really enjoyed all of my time working for them and still, today wish I was on the board. However, that was the first best step. As for the side projects, I decided to not take on or start anymore until Fall when I would reassess my current workload and family time.
Fast forward today, I think my redirection of my where I was spending time paid off. In fact, it made the summer more enjoyable as it was fewer things to worry about when we took our 17-day road trip. Also, as the school year just started it has allowed me to be more involved in my kid’s activities by assist coaching.
As for my existing side projects, I am still trying to figure out if I need to cut back on them but for right now I think with the other smaller things I cut out of my schedule through the summer I should be in a good place come next February to push through the work on those projects and continue to support those that are counting on me.
Do you remember a time you have felt like you were drowning and what did you do to get back on track? Let me know in the comments below I would love to hear your story.