I'm going to be honest with you. Life has been moving faaaaaaast. It has been one change after the other. A mountain of decisions that needed to be made—both big and small. One fire to put out after the other, and a host of unplanned life happenings that I instinctively made myself available for. There was a lot going on but things needed to get done so I kept going, until I couldn’t.
I didn’t realize what was going on until I was triggered by a taxi driver who asked me if I wanted to tell him how to get to my house from the airport or use a navigation app. I wanted to yell, “just stop asking me!” But, I politely responded, “please use the app.”
Despite the fact that I honestly couldn’t believe that was even a question in 2019, I was confronted with a hard truth: I was mentally fatigued. I couldn’t bear the thought of making one. more. decision.
Thankfully, this moment has passed and I come to you on the other side unscathed and wiser to share a few insights on how I overcame it and how to prevent it in the future:
Commit To Your Boundaries
Another truthful moment: there is a small part of me that thinks that because I own a business, work from home, and have ownership of my schedule that I don’t have the “privilege” of having boundaries. Who am I to say what I can’t do since I seem to have all of this freedom? Why can’t I do it? Aren’t I available? What’s preventing me from doing it? Well, my personal boundaries are the reason. It’s one thing to work to establish these boundaries. It’s quite another to maintain and enforce them to others who do not seem to respect them. I was beginning to falter here. I was becoming a bit too relaxed in my boundaries until I was reminded that my “quiet” time is just as productive as my work time. My “Netflix binge” time is just as necessary as my “super-focused, churn out the work” time. Whatever your boundary threshold is, make sure that your quest to achieve does not prevent you from enforcing your boundaries.
I’ll jump straight into this one: We don’t owe anyone an explanation for anything that is related to our health and wellness. None. Zilch. Zero. It’s a nice courtesy but it definitely isn’t required. I found myself over-explaining unnecessarily which also contributed to my mental fatigue. It’s quite tiring to do that. Instead, I became secure with my word. My “no” was a respectful “no.” My “Thanks for the invite but I am unavailable to do (insert activity)” stopped there, and my favorite was “I do not have the mental or energetic capacity to do that right now.” I left those statements as they were. I felt lighter.
The World Still Turns
Lastly, I had to be reminded that my stepping away for one moment to gather myself was not the end of the world. It still turned. In fact, everyone was all the better for it. I was able to approach it with fresh energy and perspectives, and engage better with others. Yes, we all have the ability to make a huge impact in our daily lives but we are also small drips in that ripple effect. Knowing that the sun does not rise and set on me keeps my journey to achieve in perspective.
If you find yourself experiencing moments of mental fatigue from your achievement quest then take a moment to consider these three insights. Only then will you be able to approach your planning and leadership through a pair of fresh eyes and renewed creative energy.