As the snow blows in every direction outside my window, it reminds me of how disorienting it can feel when overwhelm strikes! 

One of the most powerful ways to decrease the feeling of overwhelm is to get clear about what matters most to you and what is yours to own.

Time is a non-renewable resource and learning to spend it doing things that actually matter to me has been a lifelong learning process.

At one point in my life, I remember feeling completely depleted of time and energy and my to-do list went on for miles! I was overwhelmed and exhausted. One day, I hit a brick wall at full speed and in that moment, I decided something needed to change and that something was me.

For those of you who know me, I’m a curious cat! So, I began to examine what I was doing every day and one of my first ah-ha moments was noticing how often my hand would fly up whenever someone asked for a volunteer.

Simply noticing this was interesting…I have always enjoyed helping. However, when I reached the point of being overtired, not sleeping, and not running, my enthusiasm was gone and I became extremely impatient with being “the helper!” Yet, my hand was still going up and my calendar was jammed.

I started to make note all of the areas in my life where I was helping. I also invested time to reflect and get crystal clear about my values, who I am and what’s most important to me. This was profoundly useful as it allowed me to shine a light on areas where I was giving time and energy to something noble yet not truly aligned with what matters to me.

This realization granted me permission to release those roles and opened space for me to give to places that were meaningful to me. Little by little I was able to shift where I was spending my “give back” time which created a renewed energy about being “the helper.” I began being more conscious about my decisions and it felt amazing.

I tried testing this new-found knowledge in my work. I did a brain dump of everything I was doing and I was quickly able to identify where I could delegate tasks to others who are really good at doing a particular skill which created space for me to do more of what I’m gifted at. Win-win!

I was also able to identify areas that weren’t mine to own or be responsible for. Letting go of these felt extremely freeing and it empowered those who really were responsible to step up and embrace their role. Again…win-win!

Being able to take stock in what happens every day and decide if it’s in alignment with what matters to me has been life-changing. I will confess, just like the tires on my car, I re-align about every three to four months to keep myself on track.

If you are in a place of overwhelm, I would like to invite you to pause for a few minutes to reflect on where you are spending your time…then try asking yourself the following questions:

  • Am I spending time on things that are meaningful and matter to me?
  • How aligned is what I’m doing with my values?
  • Where am I taking responsibility for something that isn’t really mine to own?
  • What could I choose to do less of to allow me time to do more of the things that are aligned with who I am?
  • Who could do some of the things on my to-do list allowing me more time to do what I do best?

Let me know what ah-ah moments you experience during your reflection and what your curiosity reveals to you.

I’m curious, how long is your to-do list? Are you feeling like you’re heading toward the brick wall due to overwhelm? If you would like to talk about how to gain more clarity about what really matters to you, take the first step and click here to sign up for a complimentary discovery session with me.