?I have so much on my plate.?
I hear this all the time from the women I work with. It doesn’t matter if they’re full-time moms, full-time workers, or business owners ? it’s always the same. They feel like they can’t add even one more thing to their busy life, they are over-stressed and don’t know how to deal with it.
They try to re-organize their schedule so they can fit one more thing, so they can load their plate with one more item.
They might have a small victory. Maybe for few days they feel better. But then it returns: the same overwhelming feeling that creates stress and tension.
If you are one of these women, let me give you the key to solving this problem. Instead of making space to add more, take things off your plate.
For each task on your to-do list, ask yourself:
- Why do I want to do it? (Do I even want to do it?)
- Do I have to do it myself?
- Do I have to do it now?
At home, you might spend a big chunk of your time doing things for your family members. It might be that you are enabling them by doing things they can do themselves. If you have teenagers at home, can they do their own laundry (including folding)? Just think how well prepared they?ll be for college! If you’re picking out outfits for your young kids (or husband!), how about trusting them to do it themselves? You want to support your sick parent, but how about hiring someone to help you?
At work, are there other people who might take some of your projects? Even if you know that you’ll do a better job than them, is it the stress? How about trusting that they?ll do the work the best they can, and accepting it even if it’s not perfect? What are some tasks on your list that you can decide not to do right now, knowing that the world will still be the same?
You are burnt out. You’re stressed. You’re setting yourself up for a high maintenance life and a huge amount of responsibilities and obligations.
How about saying ?no? sometimes?
?Mom, can you take me shopping?? I wish I could but I have plans.
?Can you host this event?? I would, if I had more time. Let’s give somebody else an opportunity this time.
?Would you join us for this upcoming meeting?? I am focusing on doing one thing at a time so let me get back to you when I’m done with this project.
Years ago, I would volunteer to any event that my kids had in their school. I would be the first one to raise my hand and say: ?I?ll bring the cake? or ?I?ll host the party?. The result? I felt burnt out, frustrated and overburdened. As they grew up, I grew up too. I learned that it doesn’t always have to be me. It’s OK to let other people help too!
From time to time, I still have this feeling of having too much on my plate. I have to remind myself that I can take things off it.
After all, it’s my choice. And yours too.