If you feel that your work life balance is teetering on the edge; isn’t it time to make changes before the problems overwhelm you?
Here are my secrets for dealing with overwhelm.
1. Everything is perfect, and there is room for improvement and regaining work life balance. It takes time and energy to resist reality. The foundation managing overwhelm is to accept what is and take it from there.
2. Putter. Puttering orients you in time and space of your life while making mental room for you to notice what really wants to be top priority.
Tip: Set a time limit on puttering if you are worried that you will lose the entire working day to it.
3. Take the attitude that you will, of course, do what is most important, even if you do not yet know what it is or how you will do it. Be curious about what you don’t know how to do rather than worrying about it.
4. Clean house. When your insides are churning with anxiety over multiple commitments, create order outside.
Tip: This seems to work best if you clean with a light heart, though I have worked through some pretty gnarly problems while fiercely scrubbing the kitchen floor!
5. Use every means available. Make plans and act spontaneously. Make lists and do what needs to be done whether or not it is on the list. Managing overwhelm means mingling both direct and indirect ways of moving forward.
6. Be real. However linear or spontaneous, ground your choices in your real life and work experience. It doesn’t make sense to simply ignore a deadline or to pretend that a complex piece of work can be done in 10 minutes.
7. Revise your commitments. Promises are not made to be broken, but some are made to be revised. Act promptly to revise commitments that you cannot or will not keep.
8. First things first. Take time for exercise, prayer, meditation, and simply “defragging” no matter how busy you are. Doing these things first each day enlivens you and gives you the resilience and resourcefulness to do your best.
9. Breathe. First, last, and always, let a rising bubble of anxiety be your reminder to breathe.
Whether or not you own your own business, life is often overwhelmingly rich. I wish you joy in the dance as you move with order and disorder, discipline and insight, gracefully maintaining work life balance.
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