On this “Ask Katrina” the question is:
Why do I feel like I’m never doing enough?!
As career women, we typically feel like we are never doing enough because we look around and feel like for all of the moments we are busy, for all of the work we have done, there is still that much more work to do.
It’s like doing 10 loads of laundry just to look over at the pile of dirty laundry and see that the size of the pile hasn’t changed.
That pile of laundry is a representation of our current state. We are working furiously but not making a dent in our priorities. We feel like we just can’t win.
Ultimately we are trying to be amazing leaders, wives, and moms and yet the demands for these three areas of our lives feel like they are competing.
We get to a point where we feel overwhelmed and then we feel like we are not enough because we think we aren’t doing enough.
If you’re in this place, let’s talk about how you got there and how to get out!
What Are You Measuring to Define Enough?
If you are finding yourself feeling like all of your work isn’t good enough, the first question you must ask is: What are you measuring?
How do you know you are “not doing enough?”
Are you measuring the delivery to work deadlines?
Are you measuring how often you cook dinner or eat dinner together as a family?
What about laundry?
Or maybe it’s the number of personal texts you answer and at what speed?
The point is that there are literally hundreds of measures you can use to objectively assess whether you are doing “enough.” The point here is that you probably don’t have all of those measures clearly defined.
This means you have set yourself up to fail.
I know it sounds a bit odd, but most of the time, that’s exactly what we do.
All of us.
Even the smartest, most educated, most successful women, set themselves up to fail.
We create these rules in our minds that say things like: we must cook, clean, care for the kids, have a career, and do all things that are defined as a “good mom, good wife, and good executive.”
Yes, society has a bit to play in this but I’m not going there in this post. Let’s just keep ourselves focused on us for a minute.
Maybe you have a spouse who will help but maybe you also have a spouse who has tried to help, and has encouraged you to hire help, and yet you haven’t listened to that advice.
The point I’m getting at is this: with vague rules on what success looks like for you, with moving targets and random expectations that are unclear in your mind, you will consistently feel like you’re not doing enough.
Even if you are doing everything perfectly well, if you haven’t defined what your goals are and how you successfully achieve them, you will fail.
Define what “success” looks like in a given week. Pick the actions/tasks that must be done and define success for each one of them.
Now you’re clear on what you’re measuring and the target.
What Is Your End Goal That Results in Enough?
Now that you understand what you’re measuring and what success looks like, define why it matters.
In other words, what is your end goal?
Is it accomplishing all the tasks or is it getting praise and appreciation for the work?
Let’s be clear, neither reason is bad nor inappropriate.
If you feel like what you’re doing is never enough, then you need to define what you want to get out of achieving “enough.”
You may realize that once you ask yourself this question, hiring help, reducing your “to-do” list, caring where you get your groceries from, etc. will go by the wayside.
You may realize that you don’t care about being amazing at work and at home. You want to be amazing at work, and pay someone to clean the house and cook for your family so that you can spend quality time with them. Your end goal is career success, financial abundance, and quality time with your family.
Now that you have defined your end goal, go back and ensure what you’re measuring aligns with attaining your end goal.
Now that you know your goal, you can stop trying to be all things to all people in all situations.
You’re doing enough because you have defined your end goal and you are measuring the things that matter.
Inherently your next question is: I know what “enough” is at home, how do I figure it out at work?
If you want to know how to perform effectively in the executive space so that you are doing the right work at the right time, schedule a 15-minute call with us.