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Making Peace with Time Management…and Your Inbox

Frazzled clients speak of long hours filled with email, phone calls, meetings, social media conversations, and personal distractions. They tell me they are constantly putting out fires all day, only to forget where they left off when the day started. They are simply overwhelmed and exhausted.

So when I ask them how they are choosing to be overwhelmed, it usually lands with a “Huh?”

Yes, being overwhelmed is a choice.

I know, I know, I KNOW. I feel the same way. It can’t be me.

I want that magic wand. My inbox desperately wants it.

And yes, being overwhelmed begins and ends with us. You might now be saying, “Yeah, but, Trinnie, you don’t understand. In my organization, that isn’t possible. No one does that. We just don’t have that kind of culture. And if I changed things…”

Now that is a conversation worth having with your executive team. Know that if you are truly valuable to the organization, your burnout will do no one any good. You know this. Your staff suffers. Your spouse suffers. Your kids suffer. Your work suffers. You suffer. Exactly how effective and productive are we really being?

I ask my clients, at what point have we ceded all control to someone else? At what point have we forgotten to say “no”? What are we really afraid of? (I believe that is the real question and a good topic for in-depth coaching.)

If we want to change “the way things are,” we must begin with ourselves. We kick it off with asking ourselves what we really want. (Hint: it isn’t time!) And then asking what our beloved organizations really want.

Some helpful hints from clients along the way, include:

1. Decide. To no longer want to be overwhelmed. 2. Talk. To your team. About your calendar. Perhaps you are in a new role. What can be delegated? What are you willing to let go of? (The big one there! Ask yourself: in service of what?) 3. Commit. To yourself. To the leader you are. To your worth and value as a human being. To the organization you wish to see. 4. Recognize. When you become overwhelmed again. What are the signs? What else needs to be taken care of? 5. Forgive. Yourself. And begin again. It’s the journey, baby.

Bottom line: Take care of yourself. Take care of the organization.

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