Why Are You Trying To Do It All?
In our modern world, you probably have noticed the trend of crazy-busyness -- flying from one activity to the next with the overwhelming sense that we are perpetually far behind in everything we have to do. It’s what Dr. Brene Brown calls in her book Daring Greatly, “the burden of not getting enough done.”
If you’re anything like me, you have experienced this burden yourself. The feeling that we must be the super-wife, super-mom, super-worker, super-business owner, super-homemaker, the one who helps out with a smile on her face and has no issues doing it all and being it all to everyone -- and anything less is failing.
Especially as business owners, it’s an easy trap to fall into because as we’re hustling to build our business, gain clients and experience, make money, and do all the things, we don’t always have the resources to get the help we need. So we press on and work through the exhaustion day after day.
“Exhaustion is not a status symbol.” ~ Dr. Brene Brown
But at some point, all of this over-working will catch up with us. In the unforgiving hustle, we will reach a breaking point that will make us stop and slow down.
Because this is not a sustainable way to live -- we simply cannot give from an empty cup.
If we don’t stop to care for ourselves first, the burden of trying to do it all will cause a host of symptoms: burnout, illness, addiction, anxiety, insomnia, depression, among others. Perhaps it’s workaholism that takes over all your time with your family. Perhaps it’s a loss of passion for your craft and an overwhelming desire to close your business.
There is an alternative -- we can shift the expectation that we have to do it all, to recognizing that others have gifts to share, too, and they would be glad to help. We can be empowered to reach out to get the help we need and empower others in sharing their gifts.
Ashlyn Carter, of Ashlyn Writes, knows this struggle too well and has shifted her perspective from overworked and ill to building a thriving business that takes her personal wellness into account and encourages others to do the same. Ashlyn recommends that business owners “work from a place of rest, not hustle”. She believes that we should focus on our talents and strengths, our “zone of genius”, and delegate the tasks that aren’t essential for us to complete.
This can require a bit of vulnerability, trust, self-knowledge, and a skilled team to help out.
The prospect of getting help can sound like a welcome relief -- or one more task to add to your long list of things to do.
If you’re not sure where to even begin, I suggest that you set your priorities first, then make a commitment to get the help that you need:
- What is most important to you right now? Do you need more time to rest? More time to get things done at home? More time for family? More time for personal growth? Do you need business growth? More clients? More income?
- What type of support to do you need to get those priorities done successfully? Can you hire a housekeeper? Do you need a bookkeeper, graphic designer, virtual assistant? Can a family member or friend help with childcare so you can have a night out with your spouse or time for yourself?
- In your business, what tasks are in your zone of genius -- the things that only you can do in your business -- and what tasks can be delegated to other people? Anything that is not essential for you to complete can be considered for delegation.
Now you have a framework to get the help you need. In my next post, I’ll share some tips for finding people who can help you on your business team.
Be sure to also check out these helpful resources:
Daring Greatly by Brene Brown, PhD, LMSW
Exhaustion is Not a Status Symbol by Lillian Cunningham
5 Ways to Slow Down Hustle by Ashlyn Carter
Annie Dash is an virtual assistant who specializes in helping business owners prioritize, plan, and get their tasks done so that they can have more time for their own lives.
As a mom of four, Annie is a multi-passionate virtual assistant, librarian, photographer, artist, and business owner who loves using her all skills to help other business owners have more productive businesses and better lives.
Connect with Annie if you’re in need of help in your business.