This is the column where I answer a website visitor’s question in hopes of supporting all visitors through shared (and likely, relevant) challenges, triumphs, and struggles. To submit your question, see the guidelines at the end of this column.
I have several things in my life that I really love and am committed to, but am feeling overwhelmed by the number and not being able to give my all to any of them. I’m having a hard time weeding out which ones to give up. Any “rules” or thoughts to think about as I approach that task?
How great that you have so many interests and things that you’re passionate about! And I can really understand that even too much of a good thing can be overwhelming.
By trying to spread your time and attention too thin, you end up feeling drained by your interests instead of energized. For example, I really enjoy participating in team sports. However, this past Spring, I signed up for soccer, softball and dodgeball, and while I enjoy them all, I found myself becoming frustrated at the demands on my time; until I remembered I had placed those demands myself.
Now I know to pay closer attention to the scheduling of events I enjoy and to be sure to include much more buffer time than I think I need.
I bet, if you really had to choose, you’d be able to identify which of these things matter to you more than the others. Ask yourself, “If all of these interests, for some reason, were taken away from me, which one would I miss the most?” Or, a favorite trick of mine — the coin flip. In my example, let’s say soccer was heads and dodgeball was tails. I know I can only do one, so I flip the coin. And here’s the important part — pay attention to how your body responds with the coin lands. Are you relived at the result? Do you want to flip again? There! You’ve identified which one matters to you more. 🙂
Put you before your interests!
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