How to Stop Doing Too Much
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Doing too much seems to be the disease of our era. Everywhere you turn you hear that no one has enough time. Everyone is too busy. They are slaves to their schedules. It doesn’t need to be this way. Maybe we need to stop doing too much.
image credit: Kevin Utting, used by license
Have you ever been in a hoarder’s home? It can be overwhelming. I’ve seen the piles stacked as high as my head, the duplicates of unnecessary purchases—bought on sale, of course — the paths laid out with just enough room to walk. Maybe.
Hoarders can’t find the treasures because there’s too much trash.
Many of us are activity hoarders. Sure, our homes may be spic and span, but our time tables are jammed full. We say yes to “okay” opportunities. We try to do all the things. We cram as much as we can into the smallest storage space and expect that we will be able to move around with ease.
We can’t enjoy the meaningful experiences when they are crowded in with a lot of mediocre. Sometimes the mediocre even crowds out the meaningful entirely.
You can’t stop the passing of time. You can’t save it up for another day. Like the manna God provided in the wilderness, it is here today and gone, GONE tomorrow.
You can’t save it up for tomorrow, but you DO have enough for today. If you use it wisely.
Have you stopped to ask yourself if you’re doing too much?
1. Get real with yourself.
- Do you feel like your days are just full, that there’s no space to catch your breath?
- Does planning your week involve lots of colored squares and very little white space?
- Do your kids have no rest from morning to night, being carted from school to activity to
- Do you say yes to every good – and not so good — thing that comes down the pike?
You may be doing too much. Be honest with yourself. Are you trying to cram so much into a day that you don’t have enough room for anything else, including taking care of you?
2. Revisit your priorities and goals.
What is most important to you? If there were a fire, what would you take with you? When you look back on your life, what do you want to see as the fruit of your labor?
Revisiting our priorities can help us decide what to do and what not to do. When we identify those people and practices that mean the most to us and allow them to take the lion’s share of our attention, we right the ship so to speak.
Sort the good from the not-so-great.
3. Say NO to the mediocre.
Once you admit that you’re doing too much and have revisited your priorities, practice the word NO. Just as our friend the pack rat doesn’t need three vacuums, neither do YOU need to do X, Y, or Z if they don’t fit within your goals and priorities.
You don’t need to try to be too places at once. Very few things are worth running yourself ragged. Just say NO.
4. Focus on the meaningful.
As you say no, remember that you’re going to focus on the important things. You’re not saying NO because you’re an obstinate toddler.
You’re saying NO because there’s something BETTER.
Get a Fresh Start!
I love a fresh start, don’t you? I can feel all scattered and frantic, running my tail off, and doing too much, but then something happens, be it the change of the calendar, the end of a busy season, or simply the DECISION to get off the hamster wheel, and voila! A fresh start.
If you’ve been feeling like you need to hit the reset button, take the Revive 30-Day Organizational Challenge to help you organize your thoughts, set some goals, and articulate on paper some of the things that you’d like to achieve in the coming months.
In the course, you’ll find several exercises to help you think through your priorities so that you spend your time on the things that are most important to you as well. The course will help you get things in perspective and guide you in prioritizing your daily responsibilities according to goals you set for yourself.
It’s all fine and good to be busy, but let’s be busy with the important stuff! Registration opens Wednesday, March 31, 2021.