Constantly overworking is a draining habit fueled by fumes.
We try and get as much done as possible but sometimes us overachievers find that the OVER winds up pulling us UNDER.
The current becomes impossible to swim up against. We collapse in a heap. We are done sir done. And there’s no tellin’ when we’ll come back up because we may be out for days! Now we regret pushing ourselves and promise ourselves we’ll do better next time. We’ll make better choices next time. We won’t force ourselves to keep going past a humane amount of work.
When the next time comes, we see the crossroads, but the tasks before us seem forever long. We cram in a few extra minutes past our timer and look up to see we are stuck on repeat again. The phone rings and we know we should answer. It would be the perfect “Get Out Of Jail Free” card right now.
But we don’t. We push.
And we collapse again.
Why Overworking Hurts Us
Time VS Clocks
In Shelly Miller’s book, Rhythm’s of Rest, she writes this: “Rwandans have time and Americans have clocks.” That line jabbed into my breast bone. I was left ruffled and pondering its evident truth. I want more than pushing past the brink. I long for a fully lived life. What does that look when you are trying to run a startup? When you are dreaming big things and letting God lead?
It seems so complicated, like the answer lay buried deep between two hard places under the sands in the ocean floor. Change feels far away, the results of all I’m longing far feel like their drifting even while I work to the bone. It seems so backwards. Could I really be doing something wrong here? I ask myself these things of course.
I think I may have to interrupt my holy work to do something rather counter productive. I think I may go play. Shelly said, “An allowance for unbridled joy through play-dates with God…can provide the same result as a quiet meditative retreat. Extravagant wastefulness with time might prove the most productive thing choose for yourself.”
Some boss ladies may be in a crunch time and they shake their head at the thought. Some may need a refueling, a refreshing, and they are nodding like it’s cool. Each of us has a path and we must listen to the Lord; where He is calling us in that moment.
Pausing Can Also Propel
I believe where ever he takes us, it is the best place for us. We need to takes pauses. Sometimes less really is more.
We must learn to surrender results of in-process dreams into his hands, because friend they are already there anyways. Our hearts just need to let go too. It is in this place we will experience grand peace like never before. When we decide enough is enough for now. We can set down our pencils, time is up. We can log off and not feel bad about it. We can jump into the ball pit with our kids and relax even though the book is not yet completed.
Pausing can propel. We become refueled and reignited. We become ready to go once again.
Jon Acuff said, “Perfectionism will tell you it’s now or never, forever obsessed with the idea that if you don’t finish it now, you never will….That’s just perfectionism trying to puppet master your timeline.” His book, Finish, was the first book I read which actually tangibly helped me in my daily writing/work life.
If you are frozen or lazy, at some point you have to move. If you are an overachiever and tend to extend yourself too thin, at some point you have to stop. This is basic to any writer who wants to live fully and write their story. Which are you?
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