Friday, June 29, 2012

Overfunctioning

(SYLC 25)

I vowed this year I would not continue at the pace I have been going at for the the past few years. I wanted to slow down, not get distracted by other people's agendas, take time out for me and reconnect with myself, and spend some time working out what my next steps will be. But for weeks now I've been running like a bull at a gate. Here I am again, driving at full throttle.

I did manage to have balance for a while. For a few months I was eating well, doing pilates, riding to work and even found time to knit a funky pair of hand warmers. Life was pretty good, I felt good and I really noticed progress in my health and wellbeing.

Then some stuff happened at work and I was the one that ended up picking up all the pieces. I slogged through twelve plus hour days to make sure things got done, and worked weekends to play catchup. I ignored the gym, my ride to work got interrupted and I was grabbing any food that was convenient. After a month I felt gross. I gained a little bit of podge, felt tired and had started to crave those sugary treats again. I felt disgruntled about work and resentful. I was being cranky with staff (sometimes justified mind you!).

How I had got here again? I pondered this when I was coming home late on the train. And then it came to me.

I'm an overfunctioner.

I remember this concept from Murray Bowan's family systems theory. He believed in relationships you can have under and over functioners. If overfunctioning is present you might see:
  • Doing things for others that they could do for themselves
  • Worrying about other people
  • Feeling responsible for others, knowing what is best for them
  • Having goals for others that they don’t have for themselves
  • Experiencing periodic, sudden ‘burnouts’
This is me to a tee. I have become overburdened by attempts to make things 'right' for my work and for others at work.

The problem is I don't know how to address this balance. I'm not the type of person to just let things not get done as I hate letting people down. But I also forget that in taking everything on I'm letting myself down. The reality is that I can't make other people care as much as I do, and that sometimes things just have to 'not get done' so the problems in the process get exposed and addressed.


So this week I'm going to really try and refocus on 
myself and my wellbeing, and work to a capacity that is reasonable. I will delegate appropriately and if things don't get done I won't take them on myself, I'll allow others to take responsibility. 


My responsibility this week is ME.

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