Know Your Limits
We are not all alike, nor do we all have the same tolerance level. Some people, by virtue of their temperaments or even natural stamina, can do more than others. Know yourself, and don’t be ashamed to admit you have limits. Don’t try to keep up with some other busy person you know – just be yourself.
High achievers often feel it is a personal failure to say, “I can’t do any more than I am doing.” That is, of course, wrong thinking. Many “driven” people are just insecure people who are getting their worth and value from their accomplishments in life.
There is a story about a woman who worked in a shipyard, and her job was cleaning the ships. She believed that her job had value because she was doing it, not that her value was based on the job she did. This gave her wonderful freedom to enjoy herself, her job, and all of life. Many people would feel belittled by her job, but not her – she knew she had value. Our attitudes about ourselves really do affect all of our lives.
Quite often, people strive to have prestigious jobs so they feel important; this causes a lot of heartache in life. We could all learn a lesson from this woman’s story. You make what you do important; you are not important because you do it.
Some people don’t have peace with themselves because they actually don’t approve of themselves, and they over-commit while trying to find worth. They stay busy trying to accomplish something that will make them feel important and valuable. When we come to terms of peace with ourselves, we don’t have to live to impress people; we are free to follow our innermost values and beliefs.
Over-commitment is the number-one marriage killer. The world applauds our being over-committed. A busy person with too much to do is usually considered a success by the world’s standards. How can we be successful if we fail at relationships (which are usually what suffer the most in the life of a busy person)? Most extremely busy people don’t even take the time to really know themselves, let alone anyone else.
What is the point in parenting children if they are all going to be strangers to you? Why be married if you never have anything left of yourself to share with your marriage partner? Don’t give your family and friends the scraps you have left over while you give the world your best. The world will let you down in the end. It will take everything you have and disappear when you are in need.
How many people have given all of themselves to something that never gave anything back? A great example of this is what motivational teachers refer to as “climbing the ladder to success only to find that it was leaning against the wrong wall.” It’s true, there never has been heard of any person who has said on his or her deathbed, “Gee, I really wish I had spent more time at the office.”
We can easily lose our focus and get sidetracked. We are busy all the time, we work hard, but we don’t get the things accomplished that minister fulfillment to us as individuals. Great relationships are one of the most precious treasures in life, but we must feed them regularly by putting time into them. If you find you have no time to develop and maintain strong, intimate relationships with yourself, and with your family and friends, then you are absolutely too busy.
We all need to take a serious inventory of what we are doing with our time, get out the pruning shears, cut things out of our lives until we no longer have to rush. Then we will be able to live with peace and joy.
Realizing that we have limits and cannot do everything, and then making choices to do what is most important, will definitely increase our level of peace. Peace equals power; without it, we live weak, frustrated lives. If we have peace, we can keep doing what we are doing, but if we do not have peace, we know we need to make a change. If you hear yourself complaining all the time, it is an indication that you need to make some adjustments.
Take Charge of Your Schedule
If we are honest, we really are the only ones who can do anything about the busyness of our lives. We complain frequently about being overworked and too involved, but we never do anything about it. We expect everyone to feel sorry for us because we are under pressure that we place on ourselves. We say we would love to have just one free evening at home with nothing to do. Yet when, by some miracle of God, we find ourselves alone for the evening, we are so tense from all our other hurrying that we cannot sit still and enjoy it.
Make your own schedule. Don’t allow circumstances and demands from other people to make it for you. Simplify life. Do what you really need to do, but don’t be afraid to say no to things that take your time yet produce few positive results.
Carefully Choose What You Need To Be Involved In
We cannot be involved in everything and remain calm, cool, and steady. Don’t engage in everything that is going on around you. Choose carefully what activities you need to participate in. This like referring to it as “choosing your battles carefully.”
If we don’t learn to delegate work and authority, we will always feel overwhelmed. Please note the words, work and authority. Don’t ever give someone responsibility without the authority that goes with it. There are times in our lives when someone else will recognize what we can’t see. We should be open to hearing that it is time to delegate some of our workload to another qualified individual.
If you have the idea that you are the only one who can do what needs to be done, you need to seriously consider the following: Don’t let pride destroy you – ask for help!
A mother can delegate some of the household chores to her children. True, they may not do the job as perfectly as she would, but they will relieve some pressure and also learn, as time goes by, to do chores with more excellence. No matter what station we are in, we can always delegate some of our responsibilities to others at the right time, therefore making it possible to do what we are assigned to do in life with peace and enjoyment. When you start to feel frustrated and begin losing your peace, ask yourself what you are doing that you could delegate to someone else.
We all feel occasionally that we are out of time – that there is never enough. “Buy” some time by either hiring someone to help or assigning chores to available people.
Whoever you assign to jobs probably won’t do the job exactly the way you would. Look for a good outcome, and don’t be so concerned about the methods they use. We may all get to the same place by taking a different route, but the important thing is that we arrive. One person may prefer dusting the house before vacuuming the floors, while another may want to vacuum first and dust later. I can’t see that it makes any difference as long as both jobs get done. We should be humble enough to admit that our way of doing things is not the only way.
When we have to consistently hurry, we have not managed our lives well. We have shoved too many things into too little space, or we are trying to do more than our share and not allowing others to help us.
Once you learn to slow down, you will have time to evaluate your real priorities in life.