It turns out I have made a number of promises on this blog that I have not kept. Or should I say that there is no indication that I fulfilled those promises since there are no follow-up post. Where should I start from first? Is it my books that I promised to start reading diligently and tell you about as I read them? Is it the latest 30- day challenge that I supposedly started and did not talk about? Or let me tell you about the articles or gist (whichever works for you) that I have written halfway in Evernote and tagged. Posts with potential to share something meaningful to people. But may never get to do that unless I get them from the ‘ideas’ to the ‘drafts’ and finally to the ‘published’ folder. I am just hoping this one even gets there.
The question you may want to ask me is why am I not able to live up to my promises. How did I become “overwhelmed”. Well it is a long story. But I have thought about it and I think the summary (short version or simple story) is that I have put too much in my plate than I can deal with. I was involved in quite a number of things. Haha! There is my 9 to 5, then some courses (quite a number of them to be candid), this blog, a newly initiated Non-governmental Organization and most recently a publisher (I can’t remember how that came about) breathing down my neck for me to start writing a book. And that is just part one of it. The interesting thing is that all this busyness only results in many half done projects. High-five if I am talking about something you can identify with.
Too Busy to Deliver
I mean you have this determination to achieve so much and there is little or no time (or so you think). So you crash and overload your schedule with multiple tasks. This moment you find yourself trying to get somewhere with a particular assignment but you don’t get too far before you remember there is a looming deadline on another job. So you take a break on this one to attend to the other one. It goes on and on. In the end, not much is achieved.
Enough of whatever it is am doing right now. Moving on……the lesson learnt is that I can plan all I want and make plenty promises to keep good habits. But when it gets down to really doing it, committing to the plan and keeping my promises, other unanticipated factors come into play. Things you can’t control. Or situations that when you try to control or manage them, you become overwhelmed. That is exactly what happened.
Retract, reflect, regroup!
What did I do to resolve this? I took a step back and looked at me from an observatory perspective. You know something like a self assessment. And this is what I came up with.
- Take life one day at a time.
- Set up a routine for yourself daily.
- Make sure the high-priority, daily, non-negotiable items on your to-do list get their permanent place on your schedule. Examples of this include your devotion-time, reading period, courses (language or professional development) period.
- Prioritize your other tasks and attend to them one after the other. Some multitasking simply does not bear good fruits.
- Keep a part of your day flexible and open to changes. This is very important for a person with a 9-to-5 job like me. What boss wants done during that period gets done!
- Eliminate ALL time-wasting activities from your lifestyle. It’s time-wasting if it’s not fruitful, productive or adding value to any part of your being.
- Plan to finish whatever good project, process or task you start. It is okay to do a review once in a while to remove projects that you no longer want to pursue and put in new ones. I do that all the time after careful reflection.
- Lastly but most importantly (I learnt this one the hard way), don’t do ANYTHING without first committing it to God in prayer. You will save yourself some unnecessary sweat. We can achieve more with relatively less time and resources when we are guided.
I hope I have been able to convince you and not confuse you that…….. ?. So there it is. I have told you how I am dealing with my self-imposed busy schedule. These are the lessons I take away from attempting to do everything. I just cannot afford to burn myself out! What would be the point anyway. After all, wise King Solomon says “I returned and saw under the sun that— The race is not to the swift, Nor the battle to the strong, Nor bread to the wise, Nor riches to men of understanding, Nor favor to men of skill; But time and chance happen to them all.”Ecclesiastes 9:11 NKJV and Apostle Paul says “So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.”Romans 9:16 NKJV.
Thank you for reading my piece and sharing in my experience. I would love to hear from you about how you cope when you are overwhelmed. Please leave a comment. Till the next article, stay blessed.