Are you Overextending Yourself? Here are 7 Ways To Stop
Feeling Frantic? Signs You’re Overextending Yourself – And 7 Ways To Stop
We all know that spreading ourselves too thin isn’t healthy. We lose focus, our performance suffers, and instead of being productive, we end up producing inadequate work. But how can you tell whether you are productively busy or just outright overbooked? And when you find that you are overextending yourself, how do you deal with that?
Signs Of Overextending
Below are some not-so-healthy habits that overextended people tend to fall into:
- Getting less quality sleep
- Having too many tasks or
- Feelings of having too much information
- Saying yes to everything
- Never quitting even when quitting would make more sense
- Repeatedly lying to yourself (about time, deadlines, etc)
- Believing that if you want to do something right, you have to do it yourself
Do these habits sound familiar to you? It may be time to learn how to stop overscheduling your hours. The following are effective tips you can try:
If you found yourself relating to the habits listed above, stop denying that there’s too much on your plate. Acknowledge this issue – that’s the very first step to prevent it from staying that way. If you believe you’re getting used to your unhealthily frantic lifestyle and that it’s not something you need to change, the truth is that it can catch up with you sooner or later. Now is the time to make adjustments.
Prioritizing is not just about determining what’s most important but also identifying what can wait. There are plenty of things on our to-do lists that we immediately consider crucial when they’re really not, such as social calls and extra-curricular activities. Re-assess your to-do list with this three-step advice from lifestyle author Rebecca A. Watson:
- Identify three things that are important and have to be done the soonest.
- Identify three things that are important but can be done after the previous three.
- Review the rest of your list to confirm that they are not crucial and that they can wait.
Once you’ve clarified your priorities, be ruthless about them.
Pause & Say No
You know you sometimes say yes to tasks or invitations even when you don’t feel like it – simply because you feel socially obliged or because saying yes has become automatic for you.
Just a reminder: you’re allowed to refuse. Deliberately practice the habit of waiting for a moment before committing, then politely saying “no” when you feel like saying no. Try it next time a less-ideal request comes up. Pause, then say no.
Spend Time With Yourself
In this hectic world, me-time is not a luxury but a necessity. Everyone needs to take care of their mental and emotional wellness, and that means setting aside some time for the self. Note that it’s not ‘finding’ the time, but deliberately setting aside time for it.
Include me-time as an actual idem in your schedule. The best me-time activities are those that revitalize you while letting you take a break – for example, a brisk walk, a meditation session, or just doing your favorite hobby. However you spend this time, make sure you are away from your on-call cellphone.
Sleep More, The Right Way
You’ve likely noticed that when you lack sleep, you find it difficult to focus and accomplish anything. Sleep is a fundamental need of the body, yet it’s the one we often sacrifice first.
You can break the pattern of sleep deprivation with a few deliberate steps. First, commit on bedtime – there should be a specific and consistent time each night for you to go to bed. Before sleeping, spend a few minutes winding down, doing low-energy activities such as reading a book or listening to a podcast. And, of course, during your winding-down period, stay away from the bright light of cellphones and other electronics, as studies have repeatedly found that they lessen the quality of sleep.
Sit Down For The Meal
Every now and then, your breakfast consists of a sandwich that you thoughtlessly wolf down in the car on the way to work. Sometimes, this can’t be avoided, but if you do this often, your body could definitely suffer, and if that happens, everything else will be affected.
Nourish yourself every day by being mindful when eating. Choose nutritious foods, sit down for your meals, and preferably be surrounded by good company as you enjoy lunch.
Ask For Help
Sounds like common sense, right? But in reality, asking for help is something people so often forget or simply refuse to do, even when they really need it. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a project at work, some house chores, or taking care of the kids – there are people around you who can provide assistance if you reach out to them. This is better than just going it alone and compromising the result.
What is comes down to is that being busy and stressed out is a choice and the moment we realize we are overextending ourselves, we have the choice to stop, regroup, and then get busy again – the healthy way.
About The Author
Emma Bright is a happily married mother of three kids and co-founder of LegalReach.com, a premium lawyer directory that brings together attorneys and the people that need them. When she’s not working you can find Emma spending time with her family or watching the latest science documentary.