Working diligent and effectively at all things in life is good. At the same time, when you are diligent and effective, others can see that as an opportunity to pile you up with more tasks and that can be a slippery slope. Saying “no” (realistically) early and often when you start getting overwhelmed is important for your well being and helps set boundaries with those lovely little “task delegators.”
Think of your workload like food. You can pile a mound of food on your plate like it’s a Thanksgiving feast, and you want to be sure and take a little bit of everything so not to offend anyone who contributed to the meal, but the reality is, your stomach is only so big and you can only eat so much at a time, right? Even if you gorge yourself to the point of not being able to move…you become sluggish and tired and likely feel like crap. Am I right? Hey, we’ve all been there! And what would happen if you continued such a “Thanksgiving feast” heavy eating pattern on a daily basis? Never saying no to the food? You’d likely grow to an unhealthy weight and be perpetually sluggish and tired – along with the development of other ailments like sleeplessness. Similarly, it’s important to remember that your plate is only so big. If you pile the plate high enough, eventually food falls off the plate, onto the floor, and likely ends up in the trash, right? So how do we normally manage a full plate of food? Well, you take a little bit – eat it all – and if you’re still hungry, you go back for seconds, right?
Your workload, in the office or in life, is no different. You can’t live every day like it’s Thanksgiving and you can’t say no to great grandma Jean’s corn pudding or aunt Suzie’s pumpkin cheesecake. It will literally make you less effective and likely sick – in more ways than one. When people are trying to delegate more than what you can reasonably handle, recognize this! Say “no” (and mean it) early and often to protect your health and sanity.
Until next time friends…