Working Within Our Limits

Lately, a lot of my clients have opened up to me about feeling overwhelmed and not knowing what to do. They speak of their clutter situations as being too much, and they give up, and feel they have done something wrong.

I help them figure out what's a better way for them. I want them to see that what they've been doing isn't working, and to not keep trying and pushing so hard. When we are overwhelmed, we can't operate at our normal capacity. We have to take a smaller bite.

A recent client called me and said that she had piles of photos and she just couldn't seem to get anything done with them. She was frustrated and felt that she should be able to do it. She said she would try, but then after fifteen minutes, it was too much and it became a struggle, and she was frustrated and walked away from it.

I told her that she knows her limit now. It would be worth it for her to go through the photos for ten to fifteen minutes and then to stop. She could set a timer. The thing is, experience showed her what she was was capable of. After ten minutes, she could stop and do something else. She feels good about what she did and that makes it easier to come back and work a short time again later. She said she was delighted with this new approach.

I have a similar experience. I've been finishing the last draft for my latest book. I start out each writing session with enthusiasm. I'm going along pretty well. And then I start to feel tired and the flow stops. If I try and go further, I get frustrated and the writing turns to crap. So I stop when I feel I've done what I can do for the moment.