5 Tips For Overachievers Who Often Feel Like They Are Drowning
I hope the gif above doesn't describe you, but it probably does if you're reading this post. To be clear, I'm not judging you; I'm concerned.
2020 taught us many things, but one thing it taught me was the power and importance of slowing down. It showed me why I shouldn't pack my calendar full of things I'll only complain about later. Next, it showed me just how important relationships genuinely are. Finally, it showed me how important my mental health is.
Slowing down seems impossible until the earth or your body decides for you. Among other things, that's what 2020 did for us. It showed us that certain behaviors needed to stop. It showed us where we were weak. It challenged us to take inventory of the here and now, which was tough. It's still tough.
Unfortunately, I went back to business as usual as soon as the restrictions were lifted. I went back to devaluing my body, sidelining my relationships, and packing my calendar with tasks I'd only complain about later.
It's fair to say that I didn't learn my lesson in 2020 because I defaulted to my previous ways, but this year I decided to keep those experiences close and choose from a place of wisdom.
In a previous post, I shared why I don't have 2023 goals. I then followed up with a live teaching expanding on my thought process and what I really wanted for my life. I'm only a few days in with implementing my new 2023 strategy but I've already noticed some positive changes, like the fact that I still have energy when I go to bed.
Check out a few tips below:
#1: Time Management is A Myth
Time management is a myth, and if you've been trying to manage something you don't have control over, that could explain a lot. Your time and your times are in God's hands (Psalm 31:15). He controls time, not you, so set the burden down now. Time ticks on whether we like it or not. Night comes, morning comes, and weekends fade quickly. If this is so, why do you think you can manage time? You've been conditioned wrong.
Here's Your Strategy: While you can't manage time, you can manage your priorities according to time and deadlines. List your priorities according to necessary timeframes and operate from there.
#2: Don't Pack Your Calendar
From one overachiever to another, what are you trying to prove? No, seriously. What is your goal here? Does seeing your to-do list stacked make you feel good, or does it make you feel overwhelmed? Please answer these questions because they matter. When you pack your calendar, you generally neglect to schedule time for yourself and your well-being. To be clear, I'm speaking to myself first. In the past, I couldn't figure out why I would wake up tired and go to bed tired. I couldn't figure out why I was always rushing even when I didn't have to. Though I was productive, it was exhausting. I wasn't happy.
Here's your strategy: write out everything you need to get done at the top of the week and then ask God to help you wisely stagger the tasks so that you'll feel less overwhelmed and more accomplished. If you don't finish something today, then roll it over to tomorrow's top priority list.
*I've been working 8-12-hour days lately, but I don't crash anymore. I have the energy to do small things at the day's end, and I'm shooketh.
#3: Hydrate Differently
Regular water won't cut it, especially if you're active. A few weekends ago, I started to ask God why I felt so exhausted all the time. My medical labs were fine, I'm active, and I eat relatively clean. I honestly thought I shouldn't always feel tired, and that's when He dropped the bombshell on me: I was dehydrated. To be clear, I drink nearly eight bottles of water daily, but I still find myself dehydrated. As a result, He told me to spend a weekend in bed eating, sleeping, and drinking alkaline water. It sounded silly, but I did it, and on Monday morning, I felt like a brand new woman. I didn't have the looming brain fog. I felt energized and ready to be productive.
Here's your strategy: You can either buy alkaline water or sports drinks with low sugar or grab liquid IV hydration multiplier packets from Amazon or your local supermarket. My favorite is the latter. I buy them in bulk, add one pack to four bottles of water each, and alternate between drinking the electrolyte-infused water and regular bottled water. Trust me; you're probably thirsty.
#4: Take a Break When Your Body Tells You
You have to take a break when you need a break. I'm not talking about a working lunch, either. I'm talking about a real break where you stop long enough to allow your body to recover. Taking a break is not bad, but somehow we've conditioned ourselves to believe otherwise. Not taking a breather is terrible behavior. You need a break because you're not a robot. You need a break because you have to prioritize care. You need a break because God designed you to need one. Laws are laws, and if you violate the laws of your body long enough, you'll pay a terrible cost. Do you want to know what's even worse? The world will continue to go on.
Here's your alternative strategy: Stop when your body gives you the signal. I know you need to finish the sentence. I know you need to work overtime. I know your family needs the money. But what happens if you're no longer here to do all the things that you've been doing? Where do you end, and where does God begin? You know He will let you come to the end of yourself if you're hellbent on doing it, right?
#5: Set Stop-times
The work is the work, and it will always be there. If you don't finish it today, it will be waiting for you tomorrow. If you do complete it today, then something new will be given to you to do. I want you to realize that no matter how productive you are today, tomorrow is always waiting to hand you a new task. You don't get brownie points for working yourself into the ground. You don't feel better when you betray yourself by not setting boundaries. You need to set non-working hours, and you need to adhere to them. Remember, there's only one you, but many others are waiting to take your position. I'm not telling you not to work hard; I'm telling you to work smart.
Here's your alternative strategy: If your schedule is set at work, do your time and go home. Don't talk about work when you get there because you're still working when you do so. If you can set your schedule, then do so wisely. Once you set it, though, that's it. Clock out at the appointed time.
If you missed it, be sure to check out the live and leave a comment.