The Wall Street Journal wrote Fast Phones, Dead Batteries yesterday, and it’s a problem that I think all smartphone users know about: the faster the phone, the worse the battery life. It’s a challenge especially with the 4G phones, the article says, but I notice it even on my 3G. Running apps, sending emails, tweeting, pinning to Pinterest, streaming Pandora, even just talking . . . it really adds up. Or maybe it’s more like subtract. Whatever.
And as I read, I was surprised to realize that I have much in common with these cell phones.
It’s Tuesday and it has already been a great week, I think. Great . . .
. . because of my filled-out calendar. Work + consulting + writing + social life + the practice to habit gig + blogging + cooking + church + miscellaneous shenanigans. I’m trying to do it all and today, I’m succeeding, but I know I’ll tank if I keep it up.
. . because if you ask me how I’m doing this week, I’ll say “Really good! Really busy!” As if busy is a synonym for good or something.
. . because I equate running-running-running with being awesome.
. . because I’ve intertwined busyness with my identity.
Sometimes, I really can do it all. Caveat? Not for long. I have this tendency to do all the things and do them well and do them quickly — and then burnout hits. Sometimes it’s just a baby burnout, where I need an extra cup of coffee to get me rolling. Sometimes it’s a bit more crippling, with tears and frustration and embarrassment and even the occasional illness.
Greater still, when I’m in that deep, dark corner, all I can say is no. I don’t have it in me to say yes. If I can learn to halt myself just half a step before the too-much-too-much, I think I’d be saying yes a whole lot more in the big scheme of things.
Now let me be clear: I love every single thing I put on my calendar. I love every person I spend time with, every client I take on, every responsibility at work, everything. I am killer grateful for every bit of it all. But in this same world exists this need to slow myself down.
This tarnished, rusting pendulum continues its swing, from remarkable productivity to burnout and back to remarkable productivity again. I want so badly to stop being the Goldilocks of productivity. I want so badly to stop when I get to my limit and not push past. I want so badly to quit the too-big-too-small, too-hard-too-soft and happen upon the just right.
Fast Phones, Dead Phones? Fast Me, Dead Me.
I’ve made what I do too big of a part of who I am. And friends, I don’t think I am alone in this.
I offer no easy solutions. I offer no simple fixes. But I offer a place to begin. It starts simple. It starts with replacing lies with truth:
We are bigger than our calendars.
We are more important than our schedules.
We are bigger than our accomplishments.
We like our jobs and love ourselves.
We are bigger than our tasks.
What we do is good, but who we are is great.
Who we are does not depend on what we do.
Trite? Maybe. Necessary? Yes. And when we believe in ourselves for who we are, and remember to re-charge our batteries, I think we might be able to do what we do just a little better.