Manage It, don’t Handle It
It’s finally Q4! Quick question, how tired are you on a scale of 1-5? If some of you are yelling, “6!” Well let me tell you, you aren’t alone. It felt like there was a million things to do this past quarter, month, week, and day! Everything was urgent, and everything needed to be done at the same time. Whew!
Now if you are an overachiever like me, I’m sure your favorite line when a task is put on your plate is the famous Olivia Pope motto: “It’s handled.” The task could be on someone else’s plate, “It’s handled.” You are psychically anticipating something that needs to be done, and guess what, “It’s handled.”
But running yourself ragged to check off as many boxes as possible does not automatically equate to doing something well. We often start to slip or make avoidable mistakes are tired and tunnel-visioned. And when your energy is always focused on the task at hand, and they keep coming like a conveyor belt, we usually don’t have any energy to put towards our big picture goals. It’s often the ones who proudly proclaim they're “booked and busy”-ness who are just spinning on a treadmill and not moving forward.
So I’m going to give you the advice that, as an overachiever, you have heard all your life. Ask for help. I repeat, Ask For Help.
We hear this advice but we don’t follow it very often, probably even less when things start to pile up and overwhelm us. Why is that? This part is the secret you maybe haven’t heard:
Success is not your to-do list. Your goals are not your to-do list. Instead of thinking that asking for help is a humbling admission of the inability to do it all, shift your mindset. See it as having the wisdom and determination to take care of what truly matters. Take a moment to slow down when you see your to-do list start to grow, even though the instinct is to move faster. Then think about the purpose behind what you are trying to accomplish. W-I-N! (What's Important Now! - from Essentialism)
For instance, in your personal life you could be a maid of honor handling a ton moving parts for a bridal shower, or a mom working through plans to keep her children engaged for the upcoming summer break. Now the goal is to be the best friend and mother you can be. But if you are tired, stressed out, irritable, and letting things slip through the cracks going from one task to the next, are you your best? Instead take a moment to think, who can possibly help me with accomplishing a few of these tasks so the actual goal stays on track? Pull in a friend or a family member you can trust and then let it go, freeing up time and mental space.
This is even more important in your work life. Take a look at your long-term career goals and then look at your to-do list. Are you purposeful in planning your time to achieve your goals, whether that’s learning a new skill, shadowing upper-management, taking on a project outside of your current scope? Or are you treading water, delivering on the tasks that are coming your way but not pushing forward? It’s time to stop handling and start managing. I promise you that learning to create a plan and a timeline with your team to delegate the tasks weighing down your day is more impressive and will get you farther on your career path than trying to keep all the balls in the air by yourself.
If you are struggling with how to delegate personally or at work, or you aren’t sure how to prioritize your long-term goals alongside the more urgent tasks that need to get done everyday, I’m here to help if you are ready to accept it. If you’re want to go beyond the treadmill of handling everything moment-to-moment, and start truly managing your future, set up a free call with me to discuss how to manage your time more efficiently. One phone call is the first step to attaining the foresight, confidence, and habits of success so you can move towards what truly matters: building the most fulfilling life.