There I sit now – feeding sultanas and nuts for the sugar and energy kick so that I can overcome my depression to write this article. The baby is sleeping right now (finally! Active Child!), and the two older kids are, thank God, for the neighbour children. Quickly answered an enquiry by mail. The kitchen is almost tidy, bathroom and toilet clean (a miracle happened), and I sent a short message to my girlfriend. A shopping list is written. Check. Oh yes, the bookkeeping is also due. Baby wakes up (I haven’t even started writing here yet!?), and I have to set my thoughts to “stop” and continue later. Then when my husband comes home. Or late in the evening, when peace and quiet finally returns.
Classical roll pattern?
Replace man with woman, and you will have the same, self-chosen or other-directed insanity of multiple stress and hated-loved multitasking. Woman or man thinks he/she must and should be able to do everything at once. But that is just not possible.
Multiple stress is a nice word. Man or woman feels burdened several times. Tasks from many areas that need to be done, open conflicts from different stages of life – job, partnership, family, friendships (or even enmities)…
“Multiple” is what I still want to be – versatile, colourful and challenged by life. But “loaded”? No, thanks! I would somewhat be relieved many times over!
As a burden we only experience something, when everything goes over your head. When the tasks are hardly manageable because there are simply too many (time factor), the “wrong” tasks are (ability/readiness), or the importance and urgency of the tasks are unclear (priorities/expectations).
Lock-down = knock-down ?
In the weeks of the lockdown, it became clear that the expectations on the part of politics/society were enormous: For many, combining home office and home schooling was a real disaster. The expectations themselves were just as high because you don’t want to expose yourself. Perfect family and office shift plans were drawn up, children’s entertainment programmes were developed and diligently shared in networks. The pressure to perform was enormous. Egg-laying wool-milk sows were suddenly the order of the day, and to this day many a person does not know how they survived those days.
Five tips to ease the load
Now it is a question of taking the following things to heart so that I don’t go to the dogs:
- Clarify expectations: Who expects what from me? Are these expectations justified?
Expectations and work orders come from many sides: Politics/society, the employer, the partner, my family/ my children, myself (keyword: my own “drivers”).
- Set priorities: Where do I (currently) set my priorities, what is going on? Where do I have leeway? Where do I say YES or NO?
These decisions have to do with my fundamental values, with decisions about the current phase of life or (emergency) situation: what is most important to me at the moment? What is urgent and necessary? And: When should something else be a priority again?
- Activate support system, delegate, involve partner: To whom can I delegate tasks, who can I entrust with them?
Giving up tasks, involving others, sharing responsibility (in the partnership) and thus also giving up power/control is not so easy! The most important thing is: building up your team – whether professionally or privately – requires overcoming, time and trust.
- strengthen skills, try out new behaviour: Am I suitable for this task? What do I need to be able to do it? Who can accompany me in this process?
If I can’t find anyone who can do this job for me, then hopefully at least the know-how. With a good company, I grow with the challenge. The confidence to do something new to relieve someone’s workload is also part of it.
- time management: How can I optimise my time management? How do I gain time and gain strength?
How have you been able to do things well so far? If you have any questions, please browse through the Instahelp magazine – there you will find suggestions on how to create plans efficiently, organise work in a way that is easy on the brain and consciously take breaks.
Now it has become late evening after all. After these 5 points, it became clear to me: It’s always just one step at a time! Take care of baby and children (priority set), continue to think about the article during the mini-breaks (time management technique), be patient with me (expectations lowered), leave the whining baby to daddy for a while (delegated) and firmly believe that I can do it (skills). Yay!
How about you?