How to get out of overload mode

A business friend of mine recently returned from a “mini retreat” where all electronic devices were completely turned off or put away. The goal was to have three days away from the “overload” that seems to follow this person all day long, both at work and at home.

This very busy professional always seems to be racing from one function to another, never having time during the workweek to wind down. Many folks in today’s fast-lane business environment find themselves in that same “overload mode.” Everyone knows someone in this situation.

My friend asked me not to reveal anything about him/her because he/she is trying to enjoy the benefits of a calmer, more peaceful existence for as long as possible. He/she doesn’t want to be invited to take on other projects just because he/she is presumed to be refreshed and rested. This person’s secret is safe with me. He/she is truly refreshed and rested and says a valuable lesson has been learned: There is not enough time in one’s life to do everything that comes down the pike, but there is enough time to do everything that needs to be done if one takes time to enjoy living.

I am reminded of another business friend who has a beautiful retreat a couple of hours from the bustling city center where he/she works. This very popular, and very generous, businessperson thrives in this retreat setting, but he/she does not get much alone time there because this person is so very caring and sharing, friends, family, and business acquaintances are usually included in weekend trips. There is not a lot of time for this person to unwind — to become centered before returning to the daily race that begins early each Monday morning.



In their book How to Make the Most of Your Workday, Jonathan and Susan Clark write, “Remember: Your first obligation is to look out for yourself, your interests and your priorities. No one will do this for you.” They encourage us to practice saying “no” and to use the power of silence after being asked to do something. If you can’t say “no!” without feeling guilty, be ready with alternative suggestions, or be willing to suggest another person for the job.

My father set an example for our family because, busy entrepreneur that he was, he didn’t let himself get into overload mode. He always took time to celebrate life, and his very favorite quote was “Enjoy yourself … it’s later than you think!”

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