Overload all too often flares up and disrupts life. For me, the symptoms include:
Productivity Decline — Inability to focus. Jumping from task to task. Accomplishing little.
- Short Attention Span — Nothing holds interest for long. Always seeking new and better.
- Feeling Overwhelmed — Too many projects. Too much information. Too much to do.
- Feeling Disconnected — Feeling forgotten, unimportant, and alone.
- Always on Guard — Unable to relax. Tasks, goals, and projects steal attention from relationships.
- Thinking and Speaking in Absolutes — “I can’t… because…” or “I have to… because…”
Obsessiveness covers all of these symptoms by amplifying their affects and creating a constant need to keep going and doing and thinking. Simply put, overload robs me of contentment and peace.
Counteracting overload involves setting boundaries that then guide the creation of habits. Setting boundaries involves taking time to think by:
- Simplifying — Prioritize. Say “no” to good to be able to say “yes” to and go deeper with better and best.
- Seeking Connection — Make face-to-face connections a priority over productivity.
- Keeping Truth in Focus — This daily necessity not only helps with moral choices but with time and priority choices too by protecting the mind from the world.
- Stopping the Flow — Stop reading for information and refuse to take in new information. Back off commitments and occasionally shut out the world. Allow thoughts to flow freely. Allow time to just be.
- Purging — What aren’t you reading that you can stop receiving? What can come off your schedule? What material items can you get rid of?
- Getting Out — Find a change of scenery. Take a family vacation, short getaway, or even just a day trip.
While creating boundaries, keep these two pervading rules constantly in mind:
Rule #1 – Relationships are the deciding factor. Choose relationship over tasks as much as possible.
Rule #2 – Limit overload by limiting information and commitments. Doing nothing means choosing overload.
When I consistently choose to live within boundaries, overload doesn’t exist. I also regularly need to reset my boundaries because overload always seems to creep back in somehow if I don’t give my boundaries regular attention.
I need to make setting and maintaining boundaries a habit, and I need to stay aware of the symptoms over overload in order to make necessary, regular adjustments.