OK, so I’ve decided not to fall victim to perfection paralysis anymore, and, for the most part, I’ve been pretty disciplined with completing my tasks and projects. It’s not been easy, but I am accomplishing more and freeing up my workload to identify opportunities for collaboration and individual projects I’ve long wanted to pursue. I feel I am now putting myself in a position to better navigate those things.
And now, I WANT TO DO IT ALL.
“Yes! I’ll write your newsletter.”
“Yes! I’ll plan your annual event!”
“Call me so we can collaborate!”
“I have so many ideas to share!”
“Of course it’s not a problem you waited until today to let me know you wanted my input on that project. It’s OK. I’ll do everything! I can do it all, right now! Before close of business!”
And just like that, I find myself overwhelmed and resentful of the very same projects I enthusiastically volunteered to take part in or was trusted enough to spearhead.
I realize I have spurts of ambition and creativity, and in those moments, I attempt to accomplish everything I can think of—rarely giving myself the benefit of thorough planning, and less stress and anxiety.
I credit this awful behavior to my writing style in academia. Waiting until the night before to write a paper I got an “A” on, kind of ruins the need or desire to start any sooner– especially if you “thrive under pressure.” I used to love saying that, whilst looking at my finished product and yearning for a solid meal and sleep.
Get this. That’s a myth. The havoc we wreak on our bodies and mind during these high-stress projects is awful. I’m speaking from experience here.
Skipping meals; losing sleep; driving recklessly trying to make it to an appointment (Oh, that’s just me?); snapping on coworkers, friends, and loved ones because your deadline is looming- it’s all bad.
This isn’t procrastination; this is taking on every venture presented and seeking to accomplish every goal you can think of– simultaneously. Not that it’s not possible, but at what cost?
I believe a fundamental tenet to success is pacing ourselves.
Understanding of our limitations and abilities is crucial. Knowing when to say “no” is mandatory. Enjoying downtime is OK…and should be encouraged. We don’t have to be on grind time all the time. Take note of your opportunities. Nurture your personal and professional relationships and continue to develop your network. Do this consistently so you are not starving for collaborations and projects. Also, when you are able to accomplish tasks without having to delay from fatigue and stress and deliverable is great quality, your partners will remember you for the future.
Pace yourself to greatness, because when you’re destined for it, it’s only a matter of time. (That’s my quote.)