A while back I was having lunch with a group of ladies when I felt the conversation take a sudden right turn. Out of nowhere, the focus shifted from family and fun to how busy everyone was.
One of the gals said, “I can’t seem to get everything done. No matter how hard I try I can’t get caught up and I’m running on fumes.” Another lamented, “There’s no time for my family, and my kids and I are constantly on the go. I don’t have a minute to breathe, much less do anything for me.”
I found myself nodding in agreement and thinking about how I’ve suffered from the super overload syndrome. At that moment we were all experiencing common symptoms of overwhelm and our conversation sounded like a desperate plea for normalcy.
I realized right then that I might as well have been standing on the street corner, waving a big red flag that says, “Let me do it. Oh, choose me, please. Or, yes I want it to be me,” for all the commitments I had going on in my life. In some ways I made it seem like an honor to be the busiest, most overwhelmed person on the planet.
And then reality sank in and I start thinking more clearly. How do I get into these situations? What am I saying? I know exactly how it happens.
It’s because of my “I can do it all” attitude.
This causes me to be covered up for days, toting the weight of 10 people. What was I thinking? The hard part in all of this was figuring out when to say, ‘enough is enough.’ My mind kept replaying, “when will the exhaustion and overwhelm end? Will I ever get my life back to a manageable state?”
The first thing I had to do was pinpoint where my thinking goes awry.
Much of this overload situation is of my own making; of my own choosing.
I am so guilty of taking on more than I need to. I tend to think others need my help and worse than that, I fear some things won’t get done to the level it needs doing. That’s one of the reasons my hand automatically shoots up high in the air, and my mouth says, “I’ll do it,” without thinking about the consequences of my own actions. If I didn’t know any better, you would think I was trying to win the prize for most commitments on the calendar.
Thankfully I learned this kind of behavior was insane and that it was time for me to admit that I was beyond my capacity to manage all of my commitments realistically.I was simply trying to do too much. I had finally reached the point in my life where I realized that I’m over being overloaded. Click To Tweet
Let me say that one more time. I’m over being overloaded. Glynnis Whitwer shares in her book, Taming the TO-DO List, “Our expectations about our time and energy are simply unrealistic. We’re like Cinderella’s stepsisters trying to squeeze our feet into that glass slipper.”
From that point forward I’ve had to be diligent about weighing any extra commitments versus my real priorities. I ask myself these questions—
- Is it really necessary?
- How much of my time will it take?
- What will I give up in order to take this commitment on?
Answering these questions makes me think twice about what I’m saying yes to.
Another thing that resonates with me, is if I find myself saying over and over again that I’m too busy, then I’m too busy and something has to change—NOW.
James 1:5-8 instructs us to ask Him for wisdom to know what to do. Whatever we choose should always align with God’s word and His character.
As I worked through the seasons of busyness I pray for God to reveal what’s really important to me. I’ve committed to following His lead so when it comes to the things I take on, I think twice, pray boldly and often, and then make the decision.