‘Overwhelmed’, Part 1: Distracted Role Overload

Overwhelmed book coverIt took me more than a month, but I recently read a book by Brigid Schulte.

Along the way, my reading was interrupted by texts, phone calls, my children, my husband, my need to make dinner, business,exhaustion, and too many other factors to possibly remember.

In other words, it was a journey that echoed the personal experience related by Schulte, a Washington Post staff writer, in Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time.

There’s so much to the book that even this three-part series will only skim the surface. But I hope that my take-aways will inspire others, particularly my fellow moms, to enjoy Schulte’s writings for themselves.

Because Schulte writes so much from her perspective as a mother of young children, the book is especially relevant for me. My time-management issues have escalated since giving birth to my twin children nearly 11 years ago, and intensified since my husband and I chose to begin home-schooling them five years ago.

As I read Schulte’s book, I took note of  terms she coined which defined the causes of “overwhelm,” as she puts it. One is Distracted Role Overload. This is where we multi-task between our different roles. In my case, those roles include wife, mom, worker, house cleaner, cook and teacher.

My self-awareness about the different hats I wear came from teaching by World Wide Group (WWDB) leaders, mostly husband-and-wife teams, who related the rewards and challenges of building an Amway business as they were playing other roles, at work, with family and in other areas of their lives.

One vivid memory is a seminar by Howie and Theresa Danzik in which they shared some of the ways that they were able to draw the line between being in the spouse role and the business partner role.

Sometimes, Theresa said, it’s just a matter of stopping a conversation in mid-stream and asking your spouse, “Are you speaking to me as your spouse or as your business partner right now?”

This tact may seem jarring and clumsy, but, in fact, such an approach can alleviate the “overwhelm.” Since reading Schulte’s book, I now ask myself this similar question, “What role am I in right now?”, multiple times a day. It helps me be more productive, focused, present, and helps me avoid “contaminated time.”

Next: ‘Overwhelmed,’ Part 2: Contaminated Time.

Related Posts:

Identifying Transferable Traits That Help Build Success in Amway
‘Lean In’ to This Different View of & Path To Success: Business Ownership

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