I have heard a lot of podcasters and bloggers talking about the “always busy” concept and it hits home with me so deeply. Society, especially American culture, is a go go go mentality. The myth is the more you are doing and juggling the more success is achieved. For many years entrepreneurs and business professionals always functioned as high achievers which often led to break downs, sickness, and mental health issues.
This type of mentality has weighed on my emotionally and physically as I am sure it does on many lawyers and professionals. My anxiety is out of control, OCD tendencies taking over and sleep no more. Its a recipe for disaster. My calendar is packed. I work days, nights and weekends. I fit it in between hang overs, outings, events and sleep. I never take a break. My fitness has lacked, sleep disrupted, weight fluctuating. All. bad. things. Yet I kept doing it. But it has to stop. This is serious stuff people. We only have one life and one body. We need to work to live not live to work. And I know how hard that can be but I have now chosen that is what I want. Work to LIVE not live to work.
According to the American Institute of Stress and WHO’s International Classification of Diseases 11th edition (ICD) “The new diagnosis is defined as a “syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is characterized by three dimensions: 1) feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; 2) increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and 3) reduced professional efficacy. Burnout refers specifically to phenomena in the occupational context and should not be applied to describe experiences in other areas of life.” This is a medical issue. It always has been but is now recognized as one. This is a detriment to both our bodies and minds and our jobs. We don’t preform the way we, as high achiever’s desire, when we are exhausted and strung out in too many directions.
So what do we do? Take time off. Practice self care. Have hobbies. Designate time with family and spouses. Read. Learn how to be present. Understand the core of us that makes us drive on achievement and bless that part of us in other ways.
I am currently listening to the audio book Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit if Less by Greg McKeown which provides the tools to live a wonderful fulfilling life by doing less. The key is not adding more and being so busy all the time, the key is doing less but being productive with the time spent doing tasks. I have begun this journey of trying to outsource what can be outsourced and batch planning my work. Another thing that really helps me is to plan out my time with my husband, friends/family or to relax and stick to it in my planner. I have been walking the line of burnout for some time now so essentialism is now essential, ha ha.
Another practice that is important is being present. High achievers often struggle with being present. I know I do. We are always writing to do lists and checking off tasks. Thinking about the next task or the next day or the next chore. We also struggle with relaxing or turning off our brains to do things like spend time with out spouse, relax physically, play with our children. So often I work on the couch when I watch shows with my husband when I should be with him and relaxing. I am learning the constant need to be connected and available and working is unhealthy and will take a toll on my mind, body and soul.
I just listened to a great podcast on being present. Ed Mylett’s podcast, the Ed Mylett Show recently had an episode with Kyle Cease titled detailed strategies for living in the present. This podcast really hit home. Its a must listen to. check it out here https://edmylett.libsyn.com/detailed-strategies-for-living-in-the-present-with-kyle-cease
There are so many resources about these issues. Some of my favorites are:
The Anxious Lawyer by Jeena Cho, The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown, The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit if Less by Greg McKeown, Get Out of Your Own Way by Dave Hollis, Podcasts by The Ed Mylett Show and the Skinny Confidential His and Her Podcast, Recovering from Reality by Alexis Haines and so many more.