I don’t know about you, but more often than not it seems that I cannot remember even the simplest of things. And to make matters worse, it’s not going unnoticed. The kids are relentlessly accusing me of having Alzheimer’s. Last week at the ATM, the look in Ella’s eyes was horrifying when I couldn’t remember my PIN number. I drove Aidan to his old football field for lacrosse practice, but we haven’t practiced at that field in three years. I couldn’t find the cup of coffee I poured until 6 p.m., when I opened the pantry to begin to prep dinner and saw it sitting on the shelf, where I left it when I began preparing lunches in the morning.
It wasn’t until I was at Ella’s softball practice this week and overheard similar stories from two other overtaxed moms that an enormous sense of relief came over me – while at the same time it got me deeply concerned.
I’m not going to lie: I seriously thought I had something wrong with me.
You’ve read all the articles on how we are an overstressed, overburdened, disconnected society. Yes, that is true, but I suspect the issue is something much deeper.
During our latest weekly meeting, I shared with Laney what I overheard from one lady at softball the evening before: “I remember when we were at the peak of our success at the law firm and I was trying to keep everything afloat – drafting, funding, client services – and I found myself breaking down more times than I care to admit. I was so frustrated because we were crushing our monthly goal; yes, I was stressed, but I can handle more than most. My husband nonchalantly said, it’s because you have so much of everyone else’s to-do list and problems and needs in your head.”
It’s one thing to have too much going on and to forget things here and there. It is another thing when you take a personal responsibility for the people, work and matters that involve you.
We can only handle so much information. There has to be an information in, information out process that occurs for us humans, almost like the old inbox-outbox file system. Having all this data loose in our overflowing “In” creates a system outage, i.e. forgetfulness.
Stay tuned for our next post on “overwhelm” that will speak right into how to eradicate not only the overwhelm and the too busy, but also to eradicate the forgetfulness, so you don’t find yourself at the ATM totally blanking on your PIN.
If you and/or your team are feeling overwhelmed, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a complimentary diagnostic to see if the problem is too much information without a process for what to do with it, too much work or not enough bodies to get it all done.
By Molly Hall