I have watched a very talented leader self-destruct before my very eyes. He wants to do it all, both professionally and personally.
He works long hours in his office, always taking on tough assignments and additional work. He is the glue that keeps his team members connected and often is the go-to person when conflict flares. He is the person his boss will always choose to represent her in meetings if she is unable to attend. And as if that was not enough, he has a large group of friends who set up all sorts of social gatherings that he never misses. FOMO (Fear of missing out) keeps his evenings and weekends booked.
Do you know someone like this young leader? Are you in fact similar to this enterprising emerging leader? Can you relate in any way no matter your years working in your career?
When we are in the middle of our workday, we sometimes get so caught up in the activity level that we forget we are human. We want to do a good job and build a great reputation and can’t always see what we are doing to our minds or our bodies. What I have seen happen is that an overcommitted leader keeps going until one day they just stop.
Here are seven signs that we have become overcommitted:
1. Fatigue is setting in
If we are moving slower and no longer have a jump in our step, we may be experiencing overcommitment. Think about how you are holding your body and moving. Are you dragging? Are you sleepy and not able to keep your eyes open? Does your brain scream- “I’m exhausted and need a break!”
TIP: Take some R&R time to breathe, rest and think. Get some perspective by stepping back for a few days.
2. Feel Constantly Overwhelmed
When you look at your workload and projects, are you able to keep the deadlines straight? Are you in control of what stages each assignment is in? Is asking for help out of the question? Will one more deliverable crush you?
TIP: Take a hard look at your projects and initiatives and dump some or reach out for help.
3. Double book withour realizing
When you set up some downtime with your friends or co-workers, did you forget that you had a late global call? Did you block out time on your calendar to work on your presentation? Do you have two meetings at the same time?
TIP: Build some free time into your day and put all your commitments on your calendar.
4. Redoing our work
If we are so busy moving from project to project without coming up for air, we may end up with sloppy work. Do you find yourself making silly mistakes or even missing big issues? Are you spending lots of time reworking deliverables due to errors or no time for proofreading?
TIP: Multitasking can be a myth when we need to focus without interruption. Before going on to a new assignment, try to be at a clear breaking point with the other work project.
5. Sense of lonliness
Going from activity to activity and not giving ourselves time to connect with others in a meaningful way can lead to us feeling lonely.
TIP: Make sure to meet people for coffee, lunch or dinner. Set up phone call time to connect with friends and family.
6. Never fee accomplished
Do you have a sense of not being able to reach an end? Does it seem like as soon as you finish one project, there is always another one to be tackled immediately? Is there no finish line in sight?
TIP: Celebrate when assignments are completed by taking a walk, getting some treat or just sharing the news with a colleague or friend.
7. Not excited about anything
Does nothing excite or energize you these days? Has a rut set in and it is difficult to look forward to another day or project?
TIP: Identify what brings you joy and energizes you to jump out of bed in the morning. Remind yourself that you are deserving of pursuing your passion in some way and take some action to make it happen.