Experts call this the ‘overconfidence effect.’ Working mothers confined at home, Zooming, cooking, helping the kids with online classes and catering to the men of the house as if it were nothing. Multi-tasking employees on overdrive, with layoffs and paycuts all around. Unrealistic targets are set. Tempers fray.
The result is damaging for work and personal life. “This has gotten worse since we started working from home,” says mental and emotional health coach, Kanchan Rai, also the founder of Let Us Talk, a wellness organisaton. “It’s time to get real.” Here’s what you can do.
Stop fooling yourself
We tell ourselves a lot of lies. “This needs to stop immediately,” says Rai. “It’s good to be confident but overconfidence about one's capabilities only leads to regret.” Telling yourself ‘this is just a phase’, ‘it’s all doable’, ‘I can do it by myself’ etc. stems from a lack of acceptance of realistic standards.
Please no more
The want to please is exhausting so get better at prioritising. “Out of the 30-odd tasks lined up for the day, pick five that are necessary and do them well,” says Rai.
It doesn’t define you
Tick marking tasks from a list is greatly satisfying but none of it defines your worth. They’re simply tasks achieved on time. “If more are pending, chalk out another period to get them done,” says Hyderabad-based motivational speaker Mahesh Dutta.
Take 15-minute downtime every three hours, says Dutta. Use this to stay quiet and reorganise your thoughts. “Silence brings in perspective. In these 15 minutes, remind yourself that you’re doing well and you’ll achieve whatever needs to be done realistically without negative self-talk.”
You’re not indispensable
“The greatest, most humbling thing I’ve ever heard is that I am easily replaceable,” shares Dutta. “It first hit me like a pile of bricks but later, I understood it to be absolutely true. It’s been liberating since then. Now, I delegate more. I feel comfortable asking for help, and recognise that if I am unable to do something, another person will. It gives me peace of mind.”