These days we are typically over-committed and oftentimes overwhelmed. Unfortunately, this super-fast pace takes its toll. People sleep less, compromise on nutrition, skip exercise, and have strained relationships.
Any one of these factors contributes to poor performance, and most people are experiencing all of the above. People are slowly becoming used to under-performing.
A client of mine who is extremely successful recently reached out to me because he began to experience depressive symptoms for the first time in his life. He couldn't figure out what was going on. After asking him to walk me through his typical week, it became obvious that he had way too much on his plate. He had taken on more leadership responsibilities at work causing major amounts of travel, and he was also staying as committed as ever to his charitable and family obligations.
When I asked him where he had time for himself, there was a long silence. He finally responded, "You know, there is not much time for me these days. I think I am doing pretty well with work, but I know I am not doing my part as a husband and father."
If you are going to win the battle for your time, energy, and focus, you MUST learn to do 2 things:
1. Say No--Respectfully
Understand that when you say yes to something, you are in the same moment saying no to something else. Think about your schedule and all the things you have said yes to. Most of those "yeses" you must honor, but my guess is that there are a few that you could remove from your plate.
Take a moment now to think of 1 thing you have already said yes to and remove it from your plate. In addition, you must have a plan in place for how to say no when the time comes, or you will undoubtedly continue to find yourself over-committed. Familiarize yourself with this script: "I appreciate you asking. However, if I say yes to you, I know I am saying no to another priority of mine, and now is just not the right time for me to help you out. I hope you understand."
2. Reward yourself with "me time"
It is also extremely important to have "me time" on a consistent basis. I am a big believer in making it a reward for a job well done. Here are some examples:
-If I hit my numbers, on Friday afternoons I play golf.
-If I nail my morning process goals, I get to go out for lunch.
-If I do what I need, I give myself a 3-day weekend once a month.
Plan to give yourself at least 1 hour per week of me-time "guilt free." The key is to actually block the time for yourself in your calendar. If you aren't doing the work, don't honor the "me-time" reward, but if it's not locked in the calendar, it will get pushed off.
Please remember, YOU DESERVE HAPPINESS. Learn to say no respectfully and schedule "me-time" regularly. YOU'RE WORTH IT.