Initiative Overload

When was the last time you felt initiative overload? How did it make you feel? What did you do to re-achieve balance?

As I begin to think about the upcoming #Blog365 challenge starting September 1, I've spent some time considering when initiatives become a burden rather than a blessing. I find that once I hit a certain number of key "things" to work on or keep in mind, I can no longer be as productive. My mind literally spends more time thinking about all the items on my plate than how to best work through them.

I also find that if I'm able to compartmentalize each of the initiatives (even if they can't logically be separated), my structured self does much better in addressing them. So, I'm already considering, "When am I going to put together my daily blog posts?" "How much time can I set aside to work on these without it impacting other activities?" "Can I realistically do this writing as I'm sitting here playing with my kids?"

And that thinking, in a sense, leads to initiative overload because our minds are spinning with "hows" and "what ifs" rather than actually working on the work.

This week my organization held our annual retreat at West Point. Our focus? Work/life balance. This was timely, and the mindfulness work, as well as the conversations we engaged in, all helped me get a better sense of how initiative overload is really within my control, and how I can choose to let myself be overloaded, or simply be present and do what I can with what I have.

In some way, this gets back to my underlying desire to always be the best I can at any given moment. And if I'm constantly focused on being the best, than I'm bound to feel under pressure and stress (and not the good kind) as deadlines converge. Instead, I'm going to look to become more comfortable simply "being" as opposed to always benchmarking towards "being the best."

As #Blog365 kicks off on September 1, I'm looking forward to my writing, and the time I engage in it, as being much more (hopefully) organic, and less forced. I want this year's daily blog experience to be totally focused on the reflection and writing, and not so much on the logistics.

Here's to blogging in the moment.