By Ursula Jorch
Are you, in fact, doing too much? Seems an odd question to ask right after one of the biggest holiday seasons of the year, but who hasn’t experienced the tiredness that comes from trying to pack in as much as possible in a limited period of time?
The thing is, when you’re trying to have impact, you can get a little carried away. As leaders, we often feel called to step in when something needs to be done, especially when it’s the impact we want to have. You may even be addicted to being busy, because culturally, that’s considered a plus.
Getting carried away can take the form of excessive busyness, where you don’t seem to have any spare time, and range all the way up to exhaustion and dropping on commitments. You might be able to handle being too busy for a time, but anything more can lead to being less effective, burnout, and sadly, having less impact.
So what’s to be done?
First, recognize when you’re too busy. Are you feeling so tired or irritable that a good night’s sleep doesn’t cure it? If so, it’s time to adjust before things escalate.
Second, if you are doing too much, look at ways to reduce the load. Is there anything you can decrease, drop, or delegate? This trio of possibilities gives you options. You may be able to decrease the extent of what you’re doing and still have the same impact. You may be able to delegate parts or all of it to someone else, who also wants to have that impact. Or it may be that it no longer needs doing, or the impact’s ROI is minimal, so you can just drop it altogether.
Third, give yourself a break. You don’t always need to be the one shouldering the load. In fact, you may be doing a disservice to your team or colleagues by always jumping in. Let someone else step up, or invite them to take it on. Make this a practice, looking for ways to provide opportunities for others, and it will keep doing too much at bay. As a leader, you’re always modeling, so model a sustainable workload.
Your impact matters, and so does your personal sustainability. Be in it for the long haul, and you’ll have more impact.
Ursula Jorch is a speaker, business coach and consultant who helps entrepreneurs grow a successful business that makes a difference in the world. A 21-year successful entrepreneur herself, Ursula helps you define the difference you want to make in the world and develop strategy and marketing so you have ever-expanding impact.
Find Ursula on her podcast, Work Alchemy: The Impact Interviews where she interviews impactful entrepreneurs and leaders like Seth Godin and Marianne Williamson, and at WorkAlchemy.com for free resources for you and your business.