Many people are really good at overworking themselves. They take on too many projects, work too many days a week, or obsess over what they need to get done. Sometimes it’s because the person is a workaholic. And sometimes it’s simply a lack of knowing moderation.
Personally, I have this issue often. I currently have my job, homeschool my kids, am working with two organizations, writing a book, and crocheting scarves for the homeless. Part of what helps me get through the day is a schedule. My kids work on the schoolwork at specific times of the day, I only write at night, and I crochet whenever I get a few extra minutes. I try not to stress about what needs to get done, but of course it inevitably happens.
When we become overloaded with too many things going on, our brain becomes overwhelmed. It sees this as a threat – not enough time or energy, threat of failing or disappointing others, etc. – and releases cortisol. Cortisol is the fight-or-flight hormone that causes a feeling of anxiety. Anxiety also makes it more difficult to complete your tasks. So, while you’re setting yourself up to be anxious, you’re also setting yourself up to not finish what you’re doing – or at least not to the best of your ability.
As the new year is upon us, it’s really a time of reflection. Check in with yourself and see what you can take off of plate. Or see what you can automate, delegate, or organize so that your tasks are easier. (I’ve already begun doing this myself.) Getting your stuff done shouldn’t feel like the end of the world. Let’s do what we can to ease our lives. We have enough cortisol release as it is.