Thursday, February 5, 2009

Know Your Limits

It is very natural to get in over your head. As I learned as a first year teacher, there is no shortage of activities, clubs, and events to get involved in. If you are not careful, being involved quickly becomes too much. I am probably the worst offender of all when it comes to this idea: Know Your Limitations. In fact, I just recently received these words in an e-mail from my best friend in Minnesota:

I know that you tend to take on everyone else's problems in addition to your own. Be sure that you do the things that you enjoy and take sometime to be selfish and take care of yourself first.

Now, you all know how I feel about being selfish. However, I do believe that limits are necessary in order to be the most effective part of whatever you do. In short, if you spread yourself too thin, you end up doing every halfway. If you understand your limits, you can devote everything you've got to each of the things you have carefully selected to do.

1. Know when to say no. It is important to be a vital part of your work team and school environment, but you can't do it all. People will just have to understand that your job isn't your entire life/identity.
2. Ask for help. Surround yourself with good people who understand your tendency to take on too much and let them take care of you/ease some of the burden.
3. Decide what is important (prioritize). Recognize that if you decide to make your job the only thing that matters, that is all you'll have. Choose the most important things in your life to attend to.
4. Diversify your interests. Make sure that you set aside time to do not just what you know is important, but what you truly enjoy doing. Giving yourself lots of different options will make you more well rounded and ready to take on everything that you do.

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