When the struggle to fit everything in leaves many of us feeling exhausted, we need to find alternative ways to motivate and propel us.
Our constantly evolving 21st Century world, everyone is busy. Many would say, tired and busy. There’s so much change and new information that it makes keeping up almost impossible. Deloitte University Press predict that by 2020 when a student completes a four year degree, 50 per cent of the information learned will be obsolete due to the discoveries made during those four years.
The increase in anxiety and depression and other mental health issues is evidence that many are struggling, and high achievers and entrepreneurs are not exempt. University of California research has shown that 49 per cent of those who start a business indicate they battled mental illness at some stage of their journey.
Between the global economy, smart phones and the internet, business communication and decision making has become a 24/7 activity. The satisfaction of feeling like you are on top of things is elusive.
Home life is demanding too
Add to workplace pressures the demands of a modern lifestyle; where you want the very best for your career, your partner’s career, each of your children, your parents, your pets, your holidays, your life experiences, your health and much more. Whether people care to admit it or not, most high achievers push the limits of their capacity.
There are Limits
In an age where we don’t like to miss out on anything, some refuse to admit that there are limits. Then comes those moments when you hit the wall and your very fast and full lifestyle catches up with you. Usually it’s an emotional moment, often linked to a close relationship. A sense of overwhelm, of not being able to make something work; of feeling like you have failed or are not up to the task of being the partner, carer, parent, boss, coach, or whatever you think others need you to be.
This feeling can occur several times before you admit it to yourself, let alone speak about it to others. There comes a point when you hit a boundary and suddenly realise aware there are limits to your capacity. You can even start to wonder if you have peaked, and maybe life will be all downhill from here?
How do we increase our capacity?
Increasing capacity is not just about learning personal organisational skills that enable you to fit more in to your busy life. What it means is making time (usually with a mentor) to do some important work on you. It begins with healthy self-respect.
When you respect yourself enough, you will make sure your busy life is built around self-care strategies. This involves learning to monitor and manage your energy levels and cooperating with your natural life rhythms. which will automatically increase your capacity.
6 keys to remember
- Know your strengths – a behavioural assessment such as an Extended DISC Personal Analysis is a good place to start.
- Accept (and guard) your weaknesses – it’s time to be honest and stop hiding your weaknesses. No-one can do everything well.
- Live true to clear values – explore and elicit your personal values and make sure you’re living congruently with them. You will be a much happier you when you do.
- Determine what’s important – create a mind map of the roles and responsibilities that are important in your life. You can then set goals and plan how to grow each area.
- Set clear boundaries – become vigilant in looking after all the boundaries of your life, not just work. Learn to say no to most other things.
- Develop an effective self-care strategy – in my experience, 90 per cent of the issues that limit your capacity for business success come from a scattered lifestyle which causes you to neglect important areas in your personal life, such as your health or an important relationship. A more integrated approach enables you to consistently focus on and look after all that is precious in your world. As you do you will begin to increase your capacity, but this requires a willingness to take full responsibility and learn how to lead yourself more effectively.
John Drury is a business mentor, keynote speaker and author.