Juggling Too Many Things At Once?

by Hannah Dania

We get it, you can multitask. Just don’t forget that it can also cause burnout.

Imagine this: You live on the fifth floor of an apartment with no elevators and you’re moving out today. All your boxes are packed and have been brought out but there’s a shelf full of books you have yet to bring downstairs. They look manageable in one trip so you think to yourself, why not? As you try to hold on to all the books in your arms while going down the stairs, you miss a step because the tall stack of books was blocking your view. You fall face flat, books scattered, and in that moment you realise when you try to juggle lots of things at once, eventually things will fall.

I was recently reminded of this.

A couple of months ago I was asked by a friend if I wanted to take on a part-time marketing role for a boat-chartering service. I was already freelancing for a few PR companies but I figured, why not? It’s just a few posts a week for a couple of months, how hard could it be? At the end of the month, I was offered a full-time position as a content executive and I accepted it. I already had a lot on my plate but I was determined that it was manageable if I played my cards right. Two weeks in, I was starting to feel overwhelmed.

Have you ever felt like this? It’s perfectly fine to venture into different interests and opportunities. You just have to remember that you will eventually burn out if you don’t manage your time well. Once I realised this was affecting my work-life balance and essentially my happiness level, I started making some changes - you can too if you’re in the same position. Try these!

#1 Turn down invitations that exhaust you
If you have a long week ahead, let your friends and family know you won’t be able to make it when they invite you for lunch. Reschedule to a time when you have nothing much going on. Don’t worry, they’ll understand. Similarly, be picky when it comes to accepting new commitments - only accept the ones you’re passionate about or that will help you further your career.

#2 Be selective with your availability
We use multiple platforms to connect with people - WhatsApp, iMessage, emails to Instagram and even Twitter! When you have a lot going on and people reach out on different platforms, you might feel swamped especially knowing you still have so many unread messages. Assign your platforms! Discuss work through emails and use your WhatsApp to notify clients you’re only available via phone calls so the messages won’t pile up unread. For friends and family, use iMessage (or any other Instant Messaging platform) so you don’t get it mixed up.

#3 Notch it down
Juggling more than three different things? It is more likely for you to burn out. Chances are, your quality would be far less greater if you take on too many things. At the end of the day, it’s about quality, not quantity. Why do something half-heartedly and not be satisfied with the outcome?

#4 Take breaks
YES. You’ve heard it sooo many times, but really, take it. Once you see an opportunity to unwind for an hour (or even a day, a week), take it! Don’t push yourself too hard; the only person you’re trying to impress is yourself so why put yourself in that position? Working on one thing for four hours straight will only make you feel slumped after it, leaving no room for motivation to do anything else.

Photo by Etienne Girardet on Unsplash.

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