Now this is really interesting. I haven’t put things together in this way before, but I think it’s right:
“Your feelings of being overwhelmed don’t spring from having too much on your plate, but from having too little [emphasis added], too little of what strengthens you. The specific activities that strengthen you have been drowned out by everything else.
Wow. The problem is not too much to do — there is too much to do, but that’s not the problem. The problem is doing too little that aligns with your strengths — that is, not devoting the majority of your attention to the things that make you feel strong. We let the “too much” crowd out the things where we can really make a contribution, with the result that we do too little of what we are best at.
So, what is the solution?
Prioritize your to-dos based on what makes you feel strong. Which ones do you love? Which ones are you actually looking forward to? Make a plan to do those first, and to find a small way to celebrate them when you’ve done them. Cradling these activities will give you strength and resilience to get through everything else.
This is from Marcus Buckingham’s new book Find Your Strongest Life: What the Happiest and Most Successful Women Do Differently.
(As an aside here: Yes, you read that sub-title correctly: it’s for women. I love Buckingham’s stuff, but almost skipped this one for that reason. I ended up buying it for my wife and have now been reading it tonight instead of her, while she reads one of my other Marcus Buckingham books.
(Marcus Buckingham is “the strengths guy” who worked for the Gallup organization and wrote the paradigm-shaping books First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently [on management] and Now, Discover Your Strengths [on developing your strengths]. I find everything that he writes to be incredibly insightful.
(His latest book here was a surprise to me [and I’m not a fan of the pink cover — but it’s not for me, anyway], but it’s an extension of his teaching on strengths to the problems women face. So I decided that it would be a great gift to serve my wife. And, it looks like there are a lot of good things in it that men can learn from, too.)