Still Overworked and Overwhelmed

, | Dec 13, 2021

I was an executive director at a senior living facility for a large multi-location senior living center for about 6-months in 2015. It was a corporate job with all the stereotypical trappings of corporate bureaucracy, poor leadership, and the left hand not knowing what the right hand was doing.

The residents were great, as were my co-workers. Still, the corporate management was rough on our team, being extremely critical of our work, calling us failures, and forcing unnecessary long days and weeks on all of us.

This whole experience was very stressful for my family and me, so my wife and I decided it was time to quit. I’d never left a job in this manner before, but it was the right decision under the circumstances.

First, the company provided decent value to the people that lived in the senior living facility but were too focused on money. Second, they didn’t recognize how hard their employees worked and how much they cared for the residents. Third, upper management’s demands were so time-consuming that there was little time left to invest in the people living there.

As a result, I didn’t see my contributions making a significant difference. Once I began to consider quitting, it wasn’t challenging to decide.

About eight months after I quit, I bumped into a former co-worker, and she said of the seven managers that were there when I left, she was the only remaining manager! This conversation confirmed that I wasn’t the only employee that saw the work environment as unhealthy. 

My experience as a leader in this organization showed me what many business owners experience.

  1. You’re working harder than ever to get the same results you used to get with less time and effort.
  2. Old problems keep reoccurring despite your best efforts to avoid them – this is usually a sign that you have not learned how to manage other people or situations effectively yet.
  3. You feel like there is so much to do and too little time to do it.
  4. Your workload is not evenly distributed throughout the year – there are times when there are fewer things to do, but these times never seem to last very long (or you’re always working around the clock to get everything done as soon as possible).

Someone once said, “The only certainties are death and taxes.” While you can’t control these two things, there is something many of us forget we can control—our time.

Time seems to have a way of escaping your grasp the moment you reach for it. You’ll often find yourself working around the clock to keep up with never-ending demands. Sure, you may be accomplishing a lot. And others would likely consider your level of work to be more than satisfactory for anyone in your position – but do you ever stop to ask yourself whether or not there has to be more?

I’m sure you’re aware that you have dreams and goals that are just as important as your business goals. Some of them may even be calling to you more than ever now. They’re there, but they seem unattainable because it seems like there’s never enough time in any given day to fulfill your personal, spiritual, or business needs. So what do you do?

You could start by asking yourself some critical questions. Does it seem you are overworked and overwhelmed in your current position? Are you working harder than ever to get the same results you used to get with less time and effort? Do you have a nagging feeling that there has to be more but don’t know how to find it? If so, you’ve come to the right place.

The good news is that there’s a way out…and it begins with looking at reviewing these statements.

Have any of these statements ever sounded familiar to you:

  • I’m always short on time. There never seems to be enough hours in the day, and I can’t seem to get everything done.
  • I think I’m more productive than most, but it still never seems enough.
  • I feel like a million things are pulling on my time and attention at any given time. It’s tough to prioritize all that needs to be done when everyone expects everything yesterday!

If any of these statements sound familiar, then you’re not alone. There’s a good chance that all small business owners will face the same challenges regarding time. So why is it so essential for you to face them now?

It would be best if you got a handle on this right now because your success as a business owner is tied to the time you manage. Your ability to work smart and effectively will determine how much more you’ll be able to accomplish, which in turn will have a positive impact on everyone around you – including yourself.

The bottom line: leaders who are overworked and overwhelmed aren’t very effective.

If you identify with any of this, it’s time to take action. Exceptional leaders have mastered the art of time management and can do things with their days that most leaders only dream of.

They have a system that allows them to accomplish so much more with their time than most individuals in similar positions. This is partly because they’ve made it a priority to figure out what works for them and make sure they stick with it.

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