I still remember that fateful day of 9/11 when the World Trade Centre came crashing down. That sad day left many people traumatised, overwhelmed and helpless. Today, I see many people with the same overwhelm and helplessness, not because of 9/11, but because of work. The sheer flood of expectations we have around work is like an aircraft flying right into our personal towers. For many 9/11 happens every day.
How Does Overwhelm Affect Us?
There was a time where overwhelm was a daily attack on my person. The worst thing about it was that it was such a normal part of my life that I ignored it. I grew up with overwhelm throughout my childhood up till adulthood. This made me believe that life is overwhelming and that I couldn't do anything about it.
Then one day my life came crashing down (like the towers) and I realised the destructive effect overwhelm had on me. Through therapy, I realised that to me overwhelm was much like being bullied. I felt small in relation to it but did nothing to stop it. In the fear of making it worse, I was creating a miserable existence for myself thinking that I was safer this way.
How Therapy Helped Me In This Process?
As I got deeper into this, I discovered that the underlying cause of this overwhelm was anxiety in the face of unrealistic expectations and the fear of being judged. This was further given fire by the belief that I was a victim of what happens in life and I couldn't do anything about it.
Therapy helped me accept who I am as a person, accept the reality around me and not to have unrealistic expectations of myself. Therapy, for me, was the catalyst that brought about habits to seek and find ways of making my life better. This work eventually led me to a discovery which would create joy and completely remove overwhelm in my life.
How Management Techniques Helped Me Let Go Of Overwhelm?
My background is in business and management. Although I found these practices to be cold and scary at times, I also started to appreciate the practicality of it. In the quest to make money, management people focused a great deal of energy on being efficient and effective around people and the world.
I started to apply management principles into my life whilst still making sure that I remained the kind person that I was learning to become in therapy. Every week I would allocate a couple of minutes to plan my time, schedule work and review my past week. After a couple of weeks of this, life started to become more joyful and I started to feel empowered.
How Can We Become The Masters Of Our Time, Not A Slave Of Overwhelm?
Eventually, this practice became very close to what is referred to as time management. However, I did it in a more holistic fashion whereby it is not about to-do lists as much as it is about finding a sense of direction throughout the week. By managing how I spent my time I was able to get the required skills to be able to manage my life. In the process, I was able to let go and trust more as I became more accountable and reliable.
The original intention of looking into managing my time was to increase my productivity. I succeeded in this but time management gave me much more. It offered me a structure for my work and my life that allowed me to trust myself more. This combined with having clear processes of how I manage myself, my mind was able to relax and surrender. For the first time in my life, I felt that I was bigger than my time and that I could direct where it goes. This practice pervaded all areas of my life and it allowed to organise myself and everything around me. It was this spark that triggered, like a snowball, the ability to organise my life.
How Can This Be Applied In Your Life?
One day I shared this experience with a dear friend of mine. She asked me whether I could help her replicate what I had achieved and experienced in my life. Considering that her life was completely different than mine, it was a challenge for me. As I have experiences in giving customer service and with processes, I translated what happened to me in a way that helped her achieve the results she wanted. This taught me that perhaps what I experienced could be passed on to others to create a better life for themselves.
That is why I am here sharing this story because I had the privilege of experiencing a profound transformation thanks to both therapies, which allowed me to relate better to life and the practice of time management, which gave me the practical day to day skills to operate effectively at work and off it. Today I am closer to being the master of my time and not a slave to it and I devote my time to share this experience and help others find it in their lives.
For more articles about Time Management go to our Time Management Blog.
If you want to see how Time Management can help you in your life click here.