Tag Archives: The Exhausted Woman’s Handbook

How Exhaustion in Women Decreases Work Productivity

The Exhausted Woman's HandbookSamantha believed things would be easier with her latest promotion. But they weren’t. Things were actually worse. The increase in income helped but the demands of her job meant less time for her family. Her high standards which contributed greatly to her success now impeded her both at work and home. Disappointed about her performance, Samantha’s exhaustion grew into paralysis.

Perhaps you have a similar story. In the past, multi-tasking came naturally. You even gained energy from doing so many things at once. Now it seems as if your brain can’t function, let alone do more than one thing at a time.

There are two kinds of exhaustion. One is physical from the demands of a busy overbooked schedule. The other is psychological due to unmet needs, expectations, ambitions, and hopes. It is compounded by tragedies, disappointments, rejections, and harsh realities. And it has encompassed nearly every aspect of your life including your ability to perform at work.

Here are four ways exhaustion negatively contributes to decreased work productivity:

  • Over-attentive – You become fixated on new, unrealistic problems instead of focusing on the immediate existing problems. By directing your limited energy to unlikely issues, you are escaping from reality. Since these scenarios have little change of occurring, you are able to imagine success. It is just like playing a video game, but the game is in your head. Similar to video junkies, work is abandoned to your imagination.
  • Over-burdened – You already juggle too many balls in the air at one time. While trying to catch a few more, a couple of them come crashing to the ground. The fear of more balls falling propels you to never turn your brain off. At work you are reminded of things at home, at home you are thinking about work. It is a vicious cycle of constant pondering, worrying, and even paranoia.
  • Over-committed – How many times have you said, “If I want something to be done right, I have to do it myself?” Taking on excessive responsibility or feeling obligated to take on other’s responsibility will leave you exhausted quickly. It also has a side effect of discouragement as you begin to lose faith in the very people who should be supporting you.
  • Over-competitive – Are you driven to achieve in every area of life at one time, with no allowances for failure, disappointment, or loss? Would you expect the same level of drivenness from your best friend? While such a drive can be useful in the work place, it can also be destructive. Viewing those around you as competition erodes at a teamwork environment and increases frustration.

There is hope for your exhaustion. It can be beat. Acknowledgment is the first step towards healing, the next is taking some new action. Try these suggestions:

  • Over-attentive – Imagination is a good thing in small doses. Set aside some time to imagine that doesn’t take away from work or home. An ideal time would be your drive time.
  • Over-burdened – Work issues should be handled at work and home things should be done at home. If you have to mix the two, set aside ½ hour during work to deal with home matters and vice versa.
  • Over-committed – Once you have given a project over to another person, it is their responsibility and not yours. By doing it for them, you are rescuing them and they will never learn that way.
  • Over-competitive – If you like to compete, establish friendly contests allowing others to willingly take part if they choose. Don’t force a competitive environment as many people don’t thrive this way.

Don’t let exhaustion take over. Your work productivity can be better and you can find freedom from your exhaustion.

 

For more tips, read Christine Hammond’s new book, The Exhausted Woman’s Handbook. You may purchase it at Xulon Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks. Or just click on the picture on the right.

Join us for a webinar and a FREE copy of the book.  For more information, click http://growwithchristine.wix.com/exhaustedhandbook

Repairing, restoring, and rebuilding relationships takes time, energy and effort.  If you find yourself needing more help during this process, please call our offices at 407-647-7005 to schedule an appointment.  Or you can send me a quick email at chammond@lifeworksgroup.org.

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The Lonely Side of Mothering

playground (Excerpt taken from The Exhausted Woman’s Handbook)

When my kids were little, I struggled in a restroom to change one’s diaper while another was screaming and another clung onto my pants. An older woman looked at me with envy and said, “Oh, these are the best years of your life.” I thought she was nuts. I hadn’t slept in days, was extremely exhausted, and had vomit on my shirt. By contrast, she was perfectly groomed.

 

Another similar comment came from a friend who called me while driving to work. She had just dropped off her child at daycare. I was at home scraping sticky Cheerios off the sofa and beginning the never-ending pick-up of stuff. Yet another remark came from my husband who said he wished he could stay at home. I desperately wished for adult conversation about anything other than kids. For me, some of the loneliest and exhausting years of my life came when I “got to” stay home with the kids.

 

Please don’t misunderstand. This is not ungratefulness for the opportunity to be at home. To watch my kids take their first step, play on the playground, pick on their siblings, or experience one of their countless accidents resulting in an emergency room visit— I’m extremely grateful for these times. These instances are priceless and will be joyfully shared at my child’s graduation, wedding, or with their kids. But they were also lonely.

 

Admit it. Many days would go by when the only real adult interaction was yelling at a TV commentator over some stupid political decision. Many more days would go by without an uninterrupted bathroom break let alone a hot bath or a pedicure. Nights would go by without sleep because a child was frightened, hungry or sick. Worse yet, no one seemed to understand the loneliness — not the older woman in the restroom, not my friend going to work, not even my husband.

 

Explain it. I never communicated my loneliness. Instead, I just listened to their comments without interjecting my feelings. Basically I stuffed my feelings down because I thought they were wrong. On a rare occasion some communication would happen, but it usually was mixed with frustration and anger. There are many ways to explain hard topics, but I never took the effort. I traded in my feelings for a fake image of perfection on the outside, but the inside was disastrously isolated.

 

Embrace it. Looking back, loneliness is a part of life as a whole. It does not define me as a person; I am not depressed, socially awkward, or have a dislike for people. Rather, the opposite is true in every way. But loneliness can still happen. The only conclusion is that loneliness is on the full spectrum of emotions that everyone should experience. After all, how can joy be recognized without knowing what suffering feels like? How can peace be understood without first experiencing strife? How can communion be embraced and celebrated without loneliness creating a longing for communication in us?

As the kids grew-up, things got much easier. The parents of my kids’ friends became my friends. They helped to bring sanity and normalcy to a seemingly crazy, exhausting life. Now, looking back on those years, I can honestly say that they were some of the best years of my life despite the loneliness and exhaustion.

 

There is hope for your exhaustion.  Repairing, restoring, and rebuilding relationships takes time, energy and effort.  If you find yourself needing more help during this process, please call our offices at 407-647-7005 to schedule an appointment.  Or you can send me a quick email at chammond@lifeworksgroup.org.

Christine Hammond is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and author of The Exhausted Woman’s Handbook.

You can purchase The Exhausted Woman’s Handbook at Xulon Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks. Or just click on the book to the right.

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