By Perla Arellano
I had been fed the dangerous truth that involvement is the key to success, yet I was not given a measuring cup to know what quantity was too much.
I should not have expected one to be handed to me in the first place; after all, I firmly believe that we must live with the consequences of our decisions.
Overloading had been my No. 1 excuse for everything that turned out mediocre. When I turned in an assignment at the last minute, it was because of work. When I came in to work late, it was because of school.
I’m sorry, sleep, I am going to take a rain check.
Those all were true things; time never was in favor of one or the other, but up to this point, I blindly believed that over-involvement was the key to success.
It became a rewarding sickness that validated me as an involved person who was able to work, go to school and enjoy the lack of social life that I had. The lack of social life was due to not measuring my time with work and school.
I decided to let go of some of the multiple things I had to do. As a result, time soon became available.
Listening to music now became an option, as it only distracted me before, and I began to pay closer attention to things I cared about.
It began to sink in that I had made the right decision.
My brain was used to saying, “Do this, do that, don’t forget about this other thing.”
I no longer was a robot programmed to stay ahead or counting how many hours I had to sleep if I went to bed at a certain time.
Slowly, as time went by, I eased into a new mental state and erased the problematic feeling of having nothing to do. I had plenty of things to do, but it was nothing compared to the work load I was used to.
There are many ways to deal with work overload, some of which I find very helpful.
Here are some solutions to work overload discussed in “6 ways to deal with work overload” on the the website, The Grindstone.
Instead of keeping all the stress that builds up because of overloading yourself with work, delegate to people who can help you.
According to the article, you need to consider these three factors: “organization, your personal needs and your interpersonal relationships.”
Another option, which I find the most helpful, is learning when to say “no.”
Just because you want to be involved in a project or event does not mean you have to do it all.
If it is difficult to say “no,” think about it as learning when to say “yes.”
That is something I learned at a seminar. If it is not something necessarily essential that you do, do not feel bad if you want to opt out.
If you know how to do something well, stick to that and help in that way. It is better to be involved in a few things and do a good job, than to be in everything and let yourself down.
The third option is to meditate. Take time to recharge by simply taking time for yourself. Take time to think about the things that matter to you as an individual.
There is plenty of time in the day if you pace yourself and dedicate your undivided attention to each task.
A fourth solution, and one that I find challenging, is to learn how to manage your time.
Dedicate a certain time to work, and do not get distracted. Only you know how much you can work before you fall into a complete meltdown.
You are not a robot; it is OK to take a break.
Being involved is not overloading to get some sort of recognition at the cost of mental stability.
It does not become a bad thing until it comes to the point where one’s brain is the shelter for stress, anxiety and the lack of sleep.
To become involved with too many different projects only creates a bad final product.
Sometimes working on too many things leads to the never-ending cycle of worrying that we may never finish the many things we have to do.
Not paying full attention to the individual work we are doing takes away from what would have turned out amazing.
Perla Arellano can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.