Have you ever had the feeling that you cannot do one more thing, think one more thought, or respond to one more request?

We were recently discussing how overwhelmed we have been feeling. We are busier than any of us can remember and everything that we are doing is exciting, meaningful, and satisfying. Working with our clients is a privilege. We are creating an online leadership/management curriculum so that people around the world can learn what we have learned these past 20+ years. We have some wonderful opportunities brewing.

It’s also summer, so there are vacations, family reunions, and visitors. Mixed in with all of this are the things that are normally stressful—allergies, making sure the dog gets walked during these busy days, car troubles, dealing with Portland’s summer traffic, etc.

Nothing is terrible, it’s just that there is too much going on and we realized—something’s gotta give. We cannot keep going at this pace and still be effective on behalf of our clients. We need to stay healthy and sane.

So, today we want to share three things you can do when something has to give:

  1. Pause, take a breath and write down the two or three most important things for the upcoming weeks or months.
  2. Distinguish between the needs and the wants.
  3. Let people know what you are going to delay, stop doing, or do differently.

For us, the three things we identified were to connect deeply with our families over the summer, provide excellence to our current clients, and maintain forward movement on one major project, which means letting a couple of other projects sit idle for the time being.

We will still take care of our basic responsibilities to keep the projects alive, but we are not doing a full-court press on them right now. And, we have let people know that our timeframe has shifted. Some were disappointed but everyone appreciated the heads up and the respect we paid to them by letting them know.

You are not alone in feeling something’s gotta give. If you notice that in yourself, use these three steps to help you decide what has gotta give in your life.