What to Do When You Feel Overwhelmed with Your Week?

You know that feeling where you start to feel aggravated with others or anxious internally because you have too much to do and too little time?  How do you handle that moment?

When it comes to planning our weeks and stewarding our time/responsibilities, here are some helpful and simple tips when you feel overwhelmed. 

1. Declutter your head

One of the main causes of anxiety in us is open loops that keep going in circles within us because we have not got them out of our heads and into a place that we feel confident we will remember to follow through on them.  So write them on a piece of paper or our weekly planning tool, and prioritize them.  Half the battle is just getting incomplete tasks and responsibilities out of your head.

2. Come up with a plan

One we get those tasks or responsibilities that are pressing into us onto paper or our organizing tool, then we have to come up with a plan.  Prioritize the list and put the tasks into your calendar so you can see everything in a place.  This will give you encouragement when you see everything listed out and planned.    

3. Delegate

We get more done by giving stuff away, but sometimes this is hard because it feels like a risk.  Will it be done right? Will it be done completely?  Will it be done in the way we want it to?  If we trust others, believe in them and give clear vision, the next step is to delegate.  Give more away and get more done.   If we don’t trust and empower others, we just limited how far we will go as a leader.

4.   Stop the Crazy Cycle

If you feel overwhelmed week in and week out you must choose to stop the cycle.  Don’t point the finger outside of yourself.  You can say no.  Many times the answer is delegation, reforming our work flow, and having a plan at the start of each day.  We can waste much time because we are reactive instead of proactive in our purposefulness and planning.  Start the day with a plan, even if that plan gets thrown out the window quickly.  If you continually are feeling stressed out, track your hours and your tasks for a week and see what you learn.  Where are you wasting time?  Where are you excelling? What do you want to do differently?  

 

5. Honor Your Limitations

When we blow past our limitations by saying yes to too much, we are left tired, frustrated and disillusioned.  We stop believing in our life or organizational mission and our energy levels will get depleted quickly.  We cannot live in the red zone and operate in fifth gear forever.  When we honor our limitations and seek to thrive in every aspect of our lives with balance, we find that we live with greater joy and peace.  Work isn’t the enemy.  God created you and part of that creation story is to work and cultivate.  The real enemy to watch out for is us, making an idol out of work, success, approval or our children.  By living in our limits we end up living a full and joyful life. This was and is still sometimes one of my own greatest challenges.  When you are motivated and passionate, this seems counter-intuitive.  If you never stop the car, you will run out of gas eventually.

 

Sometimes you need an outside voice.  At Multiplyleaders we provide leadership coaching so you can live each week with power, focus and effectiveness.  

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Are You Addicted to Ministry

For the first 7 years of being a ministry leader, I refused to acknowledge and live within my limits.  I was addicted to ministry.  I loved Jesus, but some days I loved ministry more.  I loved walking beside others and helping them grow in Jesus into their full-potential, but I also loved ministry for many unhealthy reasons.  From my own experience and from conversations with other pastors, here are 6 of many reasons we can become addicted to ministry:

6 Reasons its easy to be addicted to ministry

  1. Gives sense of value
  2. Others celebrate you
  3. You can make others need you
  4. Makes you feel important
  5. You think you’re the savior
  6. Others modeled it to you when you were beginning

The challenge is that most of the time the negative consequences don’t show up until much damage is already done.  The warning signs are hard to see.  We have to continually check our hearts to understand our motives and what is driving us. 

Here are signs you might be addicted to ministry:

  • You don’t take days off
  • You don’t have set day off each week
  • You don’t have mutual friendships
  • You are becoming increasingly bitter and resentful
  • You think repeatedly about how much harder you work than others around you
  • You have increasing conversations in your head and not with real people who you are frustrated with, irritated at, disappointed in
  • You spouse raises concerns and you become defensive and talk about quitting if that would make it easier
  • You are better at church than at home.  Your spouse would love life if you were the same person at both places.  If you were as loving, as good of a listener, as patient (I’ve been there), as hopeful
  • You are gaining too much weight
  • You pray life and intimacy with God is dying

You may experience only a few of these symptoms, or you may experience them in increasing measure.  That’s what makes addiction to ministry so dangerous.  It is a slow burn into spiritual burnout.  I have been there.  Multiple times. 

 

Here are the 4 most important things you can do to thrive in ministry without being addicted:

  1. Live in your Jesus identity.  You are God’s beloved.  You are his child.  You are a new creation.  When we really believe that reality is true in Jesus, we no longer have to ACHIEVE our identity and search for value.  Instead we RECEIVE our value, purpose and worth in who Jesus says we are
  2. Grow more friendships.  Make it a priority to have friends.  Seriously.  One of the top choices that will keep you healthy
  3. Take care of yourself.  Exercise, eat regularly, get sleep.  Don’t rationalize it.  Take care of yourself so you actually have something to offer others that is more than a shell of yourself
  4. Schedule your time off and guard it.  Now, there are a few emergencies that require you to come in on your day off, but they are so few and far between that if you find yourself doing it more than 1 or 2 times a year, you are likely making excuses and living in others approval of you instead of Jesus’.  By guard it I mean do what refreshes you and don’t let others fill that day.  Seek God, have fun, rest, you choose what to do and not others.