In our busy 21st Century marketplace everyone needs increased capacity. Everyone is ‘busy’. Many would say, ‘tired and busy’. Some even seem to wear ‘tired and busy’ as a badge of honour.

Everyone is s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d.

There is so much change. So much that is new. So much information. Keeping up is impossible. Trying to make sense of things can be overwhelming! Between the global economy and technology that makes business communication and decision making a 24/7 activity, there is ALWAYS more to do! The satisfaction of feeling like you are on top of things is elusive. Playing catch-up is the new normal.

Deloitte University Press predict that by 2020 when a student completes a 4 year degree 50% of the information learned will be obsolete due to discoveries made in those 4 years.

Home life is demanding too

Add to workplace pressures the demands of a modern lifestyle where you want the very best for your career, your partner’s career, each of your children, your parents, your pets, your holidays, your life experiences, your health and much more…..with many options available.

Whether you will admit it or not, most high achievers push the limits of their capacity. You like to believe you can always fit in one more thing, a concert, a friend’s last minute 40th invitation, an impromptu family gathering…

There are Limits

The trouble is that there comes a moment when we hit the wall. Our very fast and full lifestyles catch us off guard. Usually it is an emotional moment, often linked to a close relationship. A sense of overwhelm, of not being able to make something work, of feeling like we have failed or are not up to the task of being the partner, carer, parent, boss, coach, or whatever we think others need us to be.

It can happen a few times on the inside of us long before we ever admit it to ourselves, let alone speak about it to another.

We hit a boundary. We start to wonder if we have peaked. Are we nearing our limits? Are we losing it? Maybe life will be all downhill from here?

How do we increase our capacity?

Most attempts to increase capacity usually lead people to focus on better time management, efficiency and productivity. This is useful, especially if you are not very organised. However, increasing capacity usually means refocusing, and doing less of some things not just finding ways to fit more in. Time management is only a small part of the secret for increasing capacity.

Your capacity has more to do with who you are not just what you do. ‘Being’ more than ‘Doing’. Hitting a boundary and feeling your limits can actually be a good thing because it is an opportunity to learn and grow. For the wise it is a wake-up call to think about life differently and to learn more about yourself. It is time to focus more strategically on aligning who you are with what you really want rather than keeping all options open all the time.

The Secret to Increased Capacity.

The secret to increasing your capacity is to find ways to bring all of you to all the important tasks and responsibilities of your life; to every moment of every day. When you are so busy responding to demands from many directions, everything feels SCATTERED. Capacity leaks out. Like a bucket with holes.

The secret to increased capacity is to find a more INTEGRATED approach to all the various roles and passions of your life. This requires a willingness to take full responsibility to learn how to lead yourself more effectively.

Believe it or not, the secret to increased capacity starts with you! It starts with developing healthy self-respect, which leads to more effective self-care and self-management. 

This approach requires taking a fresh look at who you are. Somewhere around 35 – 40 years of age, the way forward inevitably involves a focus inward. Working harder or longer or even smarter will not get you there. The secret to increased capacity throughout the second half of life involves ensuring you are continuing to learn and grow.

For more articles by John Drury on self-respect and self-leadership check the archives


INTEGRATE: Why Work Life Balance is a Myth | John Drury

Integrate: Why Work Life Balance is a Myth and what you really need to create a fulfilling lifestyle

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