It was a double Monday. This is the day after a holiday weekend when lots of challenges present themselves—all at once. My email server went down, I made an error in a contract, a direct flight was cancelled, and supply chain issues delayed a time-sensitive order. In short, my planned to-do list was not getting done. While none of these things were life-threatening, I was overwhelmed. I was powering through.
Powering through means we get tasky and tight, focused on how much and how fast we can get things done. We are not connected or engaged because we are focused on checking off the boxes, instead of being present to and prioritizing who and what is most important.
Here are 5 tell-tale signs you are powering through your work, vacation, or any area of your life when you:
1. Make mistakes, like forgetting a birthday or misinterpreting an email because you are so busy, you don’t take the time to listen and learn.
2. Feel impatient and frustrated with all the things you cannot change, control or drive (which is everything) with unrealistic expectations and ridiculous deadlines.
4. Think you don’t have enough—time, energy, or money for anything because you don’t think you are enough.
5. Act stubborn and resistant to changing the way you operate because you get a lot of s*** done, but fail to look at the cost is of getting a lot of s***done.
Our real power is not powering through, but powering down. My teacher calls this slothing-down, named after the South American sloth shown in the photo. Slow down, take a deep breath and ask the simple question, What is really most important right now? Not to check it off your list, but to take your most intentional next step.
I recommit to powering down so I can fully embrace my summer, relationships, work, and every aspect of my life, instead of measuring myself by how much I get done. How about you?