I love setting goals and making to-do list as they keep me focused in all aspects of my career and personal life. Recently I have become aware that these lists have actually become counter productive and instead of motivating me, they have made me feel nothing but overwhelmed.
In the workplace, I have noticed that more and more people are feeling like this and no matter how hard they work, they are still staring at a massive to do list at the end of the day. Sentences like “there are not enough hours in the day” and “I’ll add it to the to-do list” echo around many offices where people are drowning in post it notes, or to-do lists as long as your arm.
In our personal lives, when it comes to our bodies, we set ourselves a number of goals in order to gain the body that we desire. We are either on a diet or have fallen off the wagon, working out or feeling guilty for skipping the gym. We use food, exercise and the dreaded scales to measure our success at hitting these goals.
The internal pressure we put on ourselves to achieve so much in our personal lives, as well as the targets and tasks set to us by our employers can leave us feeling mentally and physically drained.
I am extremely hard on myself and get frustrated that I am not able to do as much as I want to do, and this leads me to push myself to a point where complete mental and physical exhaustion kicks in and I am forced to relax and walk away from my goals and lists to recharge.
If you are feeling this way too, it’s ok to walk away and recharge and come back with new energy and focus. Sometimes we need to just be sensible with the lists we make and not put pressure on ourselves to do everything!!! Life is not meant to be stressful and if it is we are the only ones who can change our situation.
If you are feeling the pressure here are a few tips to taking back control:
- Set one goal per day. You will feel so much better achieving one career and personal goal rather that feeling disappointed by all the things you didn’t achieve.
- Rest. Take some time for yourself every day and do something that you enjoy. Even 30 minutes of me time will help you feel better.
- Say NO. Sometimes it’s ok to say NO to things in both your personal and professional life. Saying no does not make you a failure and we shouldn’t beat ourselves up or feel guilty.
- Find a way to relax. Find something that helps you relax such as meditation, yoga, reading etc. Everyone is different, so just do what works for you, but make sure your way to relax isn’t going to be detrimental to ultimately achieving one of your goals, e.g. if you comfort eat to relax, then this could cause you more stress in the long run if one of your personal goals is to lose weight and your comfort eating causes you to gain weight.
I’ll sign off with one of my favourite sayings “People that mind don’t matter and people that matter don’t mind. If you are honest with colleagues, friends and family and tell them when you are feeling overwhelmed, you will quickly notice that those who care about you the most will not mind if you say no to things until you get yourself recharged.