One issue that often crops up in our Women in Sustainability groups is how to prevent overwhelm at work. We all know we should bat back and say ‘no’ more often, but how can we adopt a strategy that really helps us to do that in the moment?
Project management systems will often apply a ‘traffic light’ approach to seeing whether things are on track or not. I think it offers a useful tool to help us prevent overwhelm and consciously choose how we spend our time and energy, helping us to say ‘no’!
RED – STOP!
How is what you are about to do (or thinking of doing) really going to serve you? Be aware if you are committing yourself to actions that are linked to feelings of guilt or inadequacy. We don’t need to keep up with ‘The Jones Family’. The children honestly don’t care about homemade cakes!
AMBER – Pause, Reflect
What do I really need to do right now? (Remembering that doing nothing is always an option). Listen to your heart. Give yourself time to reflect. We can’t make good decisions when we’re frazzled. Go for a walk, run, have a bath, switch off the phone. Just ‘be’. Breathe.
GREEN – Go, Consciously
Being aware of your focus, of the reality behind your decisions, move forwards with action that is in tune with the ‘real’ you.
We seriously don’t have to do everything we think we have to. 80% of our results come from 20% of our action – the key is to understand what are those productive 20%. Applying a traffic light system to your reactions just might help.