Sometimes the word loaded is a good thing, a great thing even. For instance, loaded baked potatoes and bases loaded. Yet there is another side to loaded that is not quite so good, exciting, or even helpful.
In fact, when we are overloaded we become much less effective, our productivity decreases, and the cycle builds upon itself as the overload grows. SO what is this overload and where does it come from?
There are actually a lot of different sources. Each add to and compound the feeling of overload…
If you have been around me any time at all, you know that I LOVE books and reading. Dr. Richard Swenson wrote Margin many years ago. He identified 23 different types of overload, all of which we still find in our lives today.
Which of the 23 are impacting you?
Once you identify the ones present in your life and in your current situation, you can start to take steps to reduce the overall overload. Here are the first steps to reducing overload:
1) Name the overload. Identifying your sources of overload will raise awareness. Awareness is where it all starts. Without awareness, you can’t deal with it.
2) Simply imagine how much better your day (and your life) would be if this overload was reduced. Really stop and think about it.
3) Create boundaries and limits to protect yourself from being drained by these overload sources.
When you look at the list, you may say, “but Tina, you don’t know my life, my boss, my schedule, not all of these are within my control”. That is true I don’t. However, I know that for most of us, some of these are outside of our control, some certainly have been for me. However, as with all things in life, let’s focus on what we can control. Focus on those that we can control, those that are within our reach, and maximize our buffers around them so that we can refill and refuel.
For me decision overload is huge! It has not been unusual for me to be faced with tons of decisions everyday. Oftentimes they were decisions that had far reaching impact touching people lives and the overall business. After work, I set the boundary and made the decision (see what I did there) to not make any decisions unless it was urgent. Instead, pausing until I had refilled my tank. Technology and information overload are two giant sources of overload for most leaders and entrepreneurs. Taking a break, replenishing and refocusing is key.
What is your major overload and what boundaries and limits have you put into place? Drop me a comment and let me know.