I was a student of science, I finished my masters and decided to quit my PhD.
I didn’t love research and I also didn’t want to work all the time, which seemed to be the norm in academia.
I left the path of becoming a PI, but when I got a job
and then another job and
then eventually opened my life coaching practise,
the overworking followed me.
I hit a wall when I wrote a program grant that was the equivalent of writing 5 grants all at the same time.
By the last 5 days before the deadline, I was drinking coffee to wake up, wine to go to sleep and granola bars to sustain me during 16 hour days.
The buzzing in my chest was an alarm signal going off.
My brain was foggy and my eyesight blurred at times.
Even after the deadline was over the buzzing in my chest remained.
What am I doing?
This stress is exactly why I left academia.
I didn’t want this lifestyle of working evenings and weekends. The stress and pressure of deadlines.
And now, here I was working evenings and weekends, completely stressed out, so far gone that even past the deadline I couldn’t come down, and it hit me.
I am working unhealthily hard for someone else’s dream, again.
For those of you that have read Eat Pray Love – It was my bathroom floor moment.
I promised myself I would never work myself to oblivion again, not at my own expense, and especially not for someone else’s dream.
So my search continued – trying to learn how to stop working myself into oblivion, into these high states of stress.
I tried self-help books.
I tried journaling.
I tried eating better.
I tried sleeping more.
I tried yoga.
I tried meditation.
I tried being more efficient with my time.
I tried to help others manage their time better.
Even with all of these things in place, whenever the deadlines came up, whenever stakes go up or it’s something new, I overworked and it was always last minute.
Working under pressure of deadlines and working evenings and weekends continued no matter what I tried.
There were times when I didn’t even realize I was doing it.
If I wasn’t doing it at work, I was doing it at home, I even did it as I was building the business that’s a conduit for the work I love and feel called to do – life coaching.
So when I started receiving life coaching from my coach, she pointed out to me that it was a pattern.
Overworking was a pattern…a habit.
It wasn’t my job,
it wasn’t my boss,
it wasn’t the culture,
it wasn’t my husband,
it was me.
So I started to ask different questions..
If this is my habit, how am I creating this?
How can I take responsibility for working less, without losing accomplishment, success or productivity?
How can I stop this habit?
This shifted the way I was approaching the problem.
It was not a time problem.
It was not a self care problem.
It was a habit problem.
By approaching overworking as a habit problem, my clients and I have come away with great success.
If you are asking yourself:
- Why doesn’t there seem to be enough time in the day/weekend to get everything done?
- Why do I take so much on when I am already tired and exhausted?
- Why no matter what strides I make it self-care, it never feels like enough?
I’m here to tell you that it’s not about:
- Working harder or accomplishing less
- More time
- More self-care
Please – I am not saying to manage your time or take care of yourself, and we definitely work on these in the program, but it may be a habit problem.
What if overworking is a habit? You can unlearn a habit.
The Stop Overworking program is about learning how to work intentionally and not just based on what we’ve been programmed to do – that working afterhours is normal, homework is normal, or what’s required to succeed.
Working harder longer hours is not ALWAYS the solution. Right now, as an academic achiever, your brain thinks it is.
Let’s change that together.
I created Stop Overworking for people who want to work hard and work less.
Now, I want to be clear. I am not working with people that are already burned out.
People who are overworking, are like me, they aren’t burnt out, they want to keep working hard, and enjoy working and creating and contributing, but recognize that they are working more hours than they truly want to.
They want to create some space for other aspects of their lives.
They are tired and they can see that if they keep going on this trajectory it’s going to lead to burn out, but they aren’t burnt out yet.
Or they have been burned out, have recovered and are overworking again bc they have solved for the symptoms, but not the cause (this was me for many years) and see that they are heading toward burn out again and want to try something to interrupt what’s happening before they get to burn out and have to recover.
This is the program I wish I would have had when I hit the wall of overworking that I described earlier.
Now that I have stopped the overworking habit,
- I work 5-8 hour days, 5 days a week, I take 3-4 one-week vacations a year
- It’s not that I don’t work hard or don’t work or am not successful
- I market, sell and deliver in a business
- I create value in my job
- I nurture loving relationships with my husband and 2 girls who are 6 and 8.
- I find fulfillment in both my work and my personal life
- I don’t ever feel like I have to go on vacation to feel better or recover
- I have all the time that I need to create what I want in my life
- I focus on what’s most important to me – family and being in service
I’ve also guided my clients through this work and they have stopped overworking too. They have learned to work more intentionally and not just automatically.
Based on my own success and success of my clients, I have created the Stop Overworking Program.
3 Steps to Stop Overworking
- Decide to stop overworking – how many times have you decided to not work and ended up working? This is where I teach you how to decide ahead of time, how to help yourself through the process, how to love yourself through the fails of working when you said you wouldn’t, and really see your progress. This is all part of the process and results in you having more self-compassion for yourself and loving yourself through something hard – priceless.
- Evaluate your working thinking – When you decide not to work, you will have all the thoughts that come up for you about work when you work when you said you wouldn’t and when you follow through on not working. We will evaluate them and support you identifying which ones are serving you, which ones are not and how to be more intentional with your thinking in a way that serves you to stop overworking.
- Practice not working and get coached – As you start to practice not working, underlying reasons why you are overworking start to reveal themselves. You will get coached on these. These are the common pitfalls and the skills we build in the program resolve them
- Feeling like your failing at keeping your schedule
- Being worried about not being successful, productive or accomplished
- Concerned about approval or expectations of others
- Being worried about being different than others around you or not measuring up
- Concerns about not meeting expectations
- Feeling out of control
- Times where working evenings and weekends feels important and necessary
Skills to Build:
- Control Your Brain
- Feel Uncomfortable
- Manage Your Strengths
- Allowing Urges
- Create Boundaries / Saying No
- Choose Expectations
- Create Transitions
- Prevent Self Sabotage
You can build these skills and stop this habit, retrain your brain to work when you want to consciously and create evidence that you are more productive when you take time to rest.
As my clients have.
In the Stop Overworking Program
I teach you how to work less hours without giving up feeling productive.
I coach you on everything that comes up along the way.
I help you get ahead of common pitfalls and support you with getting out of your own way.
The work in the beginning is challenging, but once you learn the skill, it gets easier and you have it forever.
Frequently Asked Questions
I’m ready to stop overworking, how do I sign up?
If you want to take this work further, I’d like to invite you to schedule a free, one-hour consult with me.
In the consult, we identify what the first skill that will be key for you to build and I give you next steps to get started building it.
I’ll also answer any questions you have about the Stop Overworking Program and we’ll chat about whether you want to join.
How does it work?
We have 24 weeks of bi-weekly coaching calls where I share with you the steps and the skills.
Between calls you practice not working through the steps and skills you are building
As you practice not working, pitfalls come up and I coach you on them and provide expertise to move through them more easily.
The work in the beginning is challenging but it’s simple.
What can I expect?
During 24 weeks of bi-weekly coaching calls, I will have taught you how to:
- Reduce your physical work hours in the way that you want
- Reduce the time you spending thinking and feeling about work or not working
- Shift your thinking to thoughts that are helpful to you to stop overworking
- Identify and build the skills you need to stop overworking
What happens when I join?
- We schedule your first call together where we set goals and make decisions to get you started and schedule your 12 bi-weekly calls. The program lasts 24 weeks.
- In each of the 12, one- hour one-to-one calls I share briefly about at least one of the steps or the skills that you need to move forward, and you share challenges that you are having and get coached.
- You start implementing not working and bringing your questions and concerns to the call.
- We celebrate all the signs that you are stopping overworking along the way.
- You learn how to stop overworking.
Will I have to give up working hard if I stop overworking?
Nope. Not if you don’t want to.
This isn’t about NOT working hard, this is about working hard where, how, on what and when you want to.
If you have any other questions:
I am so grateful to be on this journey with you.
It’s your time. Time for you to live your life, based on your own rules and create what you want.
See you inside!