"I can’t focus, I have so much to do."
"I am not nearly as productive as I need to be. I have so many deadlines. My to do list is so long."
"How can I get more done?"
So many women I have spoken to lately are lamenting the need to do more and fit even more in a day.
I get it.
I can share the best productivity hacks with you but….I don’t think that is really what you need most.
You see, we as women take it all on without really thinking about it. We feel like we need do it all, get it done perfectly, and maintain a perfect home life without breaking a sweat.
The problem is – our lists are too long, our expectations difficult to reach and our standards are too high.
I am not saying you shouldn’t have high standards – that isn’t it at all. But what I am saying is that it isn’t realistic to excel at your demanding career, get absolutely everything done on-time, manage a beautiful home with everything always in its place, cook nutritious meals every evening, home school your child and plan and execute the perfect holidays (even if they are smaller this year) all the while managing aging parents and a virtual team.
As women we tend to assume that we just need to do all that and forge ahead. And yet I want to suggest that we have been socialized to think these unrealistic standards are normal and achievable.
Too many women are burnt out and stressed out and overwhelmed and can’t figure out what the problem is.
The problem is the patriarchal society we have all been socialized in, wants us to keep doing all this because it supports the status quo. The reality is that it supports the status quo at the expense of our health and well-being and our dreams and aspirations.
As we head into the holidays, I encourage you to consider your own health and wellbeing first. What do you really need this holiday? Time with others? Rest and recalibration? Sleep? A nourishing meal? Some time alone? Play? Time outside?
Take a look at what you have habitually signed up for that doesn’t bring you joy. Can it be left undone? Can it be done in a way that reduces the burden on you? Who else can take on some of these roles? Can it be outsourced? Recruit your support system and think creatively. Learn to say no. Can you change your expectations of how it has to look?
Notice how the images around us (like the one below) seem to reinforce this unrealistic view. I can you anytime I made cookies with a young child, there was a big mess everywhere and we weren't always smiling!
This year, I was feeling overwhelmed with a burst pipe in the basement, ongoing symptoms from a concussion, and aging parents.
We decided to forgo the tree this year, cater the holidays and try a meal service. But boy do I miss our cleaner…
If you are looking at creating a life that aligns with what you really want in life, there has never been a better time.