Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Sometimes it's Good to be a Quitter!

One of the most common struggles people recount in my office is time management.

Yet oftentimes, on review, many of those same folks' lives are filled with obligations that are far from required.

Clearly we can't just decide to stop working or caring for our families, but no doubt most of us fill up parts of our lives with volunteer work, over the top dedication to the office, and/or unnecessarily involved parenting.

Work-life balance is definitely a determinant of health. Stress due to lack of time can wreak havoc on many areas of life including sleep and mood where disturbances in either in turn may lead to increases in appetite or cravings.

There's no doubt it's not fun to admit to yourself you've got too much on your plate, and even less fun to clear it. That said, if you're feeling constantly overwhelmed I'd argue you owe it not only to yourself, but to the causes you might be quitting, to take a step back - because if you're not able to give them your full attention, you're taking up a spot that might be filled by a person who could.

Are there things in your life that you can let go of, but simple guilt or pride is stopping you? Are there things you can delegate to others? Are there things that if they weren't hanging over your head you might feel lighter, sleep better and have more time to dedicate to yourself?

Is there something you can quit?

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  1. Lowell7:05 am

    Wow. Perfect timing for me, as I really need to reevaluate my lifestyle to make it healthier and I'm overwhelmed with life.


  2. Anonymous9:26 am

    Can't really say I know of anyone who overschedules themselves with "volunteer work," unless spending six hours on the couch like a zombie in front of the TV or the laptop every day voluntarily counts as such. There is plenty of time in a day to do whatever we want with. Wanting to do productive things that contribute to a healthy life, however, is a choice.

  3. Thanks for the nudge. Just called my wife to say I'm leaving her and the kids.

  4. ingrid10:20 am

    I have over scheduled myself with volunteer work! I help out at a Swedish America museum and they need lots of help during the busiest time of the year, December.
    This year may a bit different because I am taking classes part time, and applying to a Masters program this coming fall. Need to prioritize! But I am definitely using the museum's director as a reference for my application.

  5. Anonymous10:33 am

    Great piece on work-life balance. I am strong believer in filling your life with things that make you (and those you love) happy and keep you healthy both physically and emotionally.
    As a long-time softball player, I made the decision to quit this year after getting tired of spending two evenings per week listening to adults bicker and cry over spilled milk.
    Feeling better already :)

  6. Anonymous10:41 am

    In my practice, I typically see patients who are (in my opinion) over involved parents. They will bust their butts to keep the kids enrolled in every sport/activity known to man only to have no time to devote to cooking, exercise of their own, or perhaps even a little down time. My response is - we are all given the same amount of time (i.e. hours in the day, your job is to decide what to do with them. In my own life, I prioritze my exercise time and my food prep time over a lot of things (please don't look too closely at my floors)and the kids are enrolled in no more than 2 activities at a time. We, as a family, enjoy having time to play outside after supper, go for a bike ride or hit the playground. In fact, all that taxing kids around to activities stresses all of us out, even the kids. Thanks for the post!

  7. great post! i agree -- people often try to fit in too much activity, and end up not enjoying it because they're hurried and stressed a lot of the time! smell the roses, everybody....

  8. I am definitely guilty on this front. Not only are my kids busy with activities (not too many), but I try really hard to "make time for myself" by fitting in things that I enjoy. I work out. I love to cook. And, I'm taking university courses to reach a personal goal of completing my degree.

    Sometimes I think the thing I should be doing for myself is saying enough, but it's tricky to balance all of these things, along with working full time.

    Sigh, if there were only more hours in the day!

  9. printing this, blowing it up, taping to office wall.