Here are some classic indicators of those who fight the overachiever monster:
- We think that the only way "it will happen" is if we make it happen.
- We hyper focus on tasks and productivity.
- We go without sleep, in order to keep all our "projects" moving.
- We let our diet and exercise play second fiddle to our "responsibilities."
- We feel that the answer to every request for help should be "yes."
- We sacrifice our personal growth to the idol of efficiency.
- We tend to let relationships suffer at the expense of getting stuff done.
Don't get me wrong. It's OK to be dependable, capable, resilient, committed, tenacious, and busy. The problem arises when we make ourselves "sick" in the doing. That "illness" can be manifested in our physical and/or emotional and/or intellectual and/or spiritual and/or social lives.
The difference in being effective and not being effective lies along a razor-thin line. On the good side of that line we find the Nirvana of "balance," on the other side the Hades of "imbalance."
Some strategies that help:
- Toggle between tasks and relational interactions (at least every 90 minutes).
- Eat slow meals (of healthy food), sitting down, with someone(s) you like or love.
- Read, listen to, or watch something that makes you think/grow, everyday.
- Exercise a little, somehow, every day (can be as simple as walking the parking lot during a break).
- Get outside for a least a little bit, daily (the sun and fresh air are immensely healing).
- STOP long enough to commune somehow with the God of your understanding - from which values spring and are fed.
If you're like me, this is a daily struggle. Nobody else can find balance for us.