The past month at uLEAD has been very full. Planning and preparing for summer staff, two full weeks of orientation, and all the everyday business items made for a lot happening at once. So much so, that I (Betsy) ended up making one of the funniest mistakes in a long while.
We were staying in a guest house on Culver Academies campus. It had really nice accommodations including an full kitchen with coffee pot, stove and other items we could use for making ourselves home. I arrived Sunday and on noticing the options available to us, I hopped on down to the local grocery store to get a few fresh snacks and of course some coffee to keep us going. At uLEAD, we like our coffee, and we probably could keep the coffee industry in business even if everyone else stopped drinking it.
As the week goes on, and we are making 2-3 pots a day for all to partake, I noticed something on Wednesday morning. We had purchased more groceries and coffee the night prior, as we we're running out! As I was comparing the boldness of the two coffee bags, I realized that the one that was practically gone, said DECAF!! I burst into laughter as that one moment seemed to explain so many things that had happened the previous three days.
Even if you are a superb observers of our surroundings, there can be a point at which you reach your limit. The questions is, do you out know yourself well enough to know the signs of when to take a step back? For me it should have been the head aches that gave me a sign, but I was so confident in myself that it didn't even cross my mind that decaf coffee could be the issue.
Next time you are feeling overwhelmed, try these 3 simple steps:
1. Note it:
simply allowing yourself to verbalize your state of mind being overwhelmed helps keep that information in the frontal cortex of your brain, which is where most of how we operate, comes from.
2. Name it:
figure out what is really making you feel overwhelmed and talk it out with someone you trust, or write down your thoughts in a journal or blog. Sifting through all the thoughts will help to distinguish what the actual culprit is and what thoughts are just adding to the stress.
3. Deal with it:
don't wait for that tipping point! If you know what might be causing you to be completely overwhelmed, then do what you need to, to manage your sanity. Take a step back, delegate some projects to coworkers, say "no" to the next things someone asks you to do.
While Servant Leadership is all about caring for the needs of others, YOU are not any good if you are worn out, tired and buying decaf coffee for everyone to drink! Give yourself 30 min this week, and do what you need to, to prevent yourself from reaching that tipping point.