42-15341447One of the biggest news items this week has been the “stress test” several banks failed to pass. Designed to determine whether banks are financially healthy, the stress test is supposed to diagnose problems based on certain indicators of financial health. Some banks are disputing the results, of course. Kind of like some of us do as individuals. If you had to pass a stress test based on how you are living your life, would you pass? If your life is overextended, consider this post a wakeup call.

Symptoms abound when we are too busy, but we have to recognize them as indicators that life is spiraling out of control. I know I’m too busy when my plants start wilt because I haven’t had time to water them, my car starts to get cluttered and I haven’t exercised in a week. What symptoms tell you it’s time to reclaim your schedule? Here are a few common ones to get you started, from my book How Did I Get So Busy? How many of these statements describe you?

  •  I regularly eat lunch at my desk.
  •  I work straight through lunch.
  •  My mail is piled up because I haven’t had time to open it.
  •  My friends complain I am too busy for them.
  •  I haven’t had a seven-day vacation in over a year.
  •  I’ve missed paying a bill in the last three months because I hadn’t had time to open it.
  •  I’ve run out of clothes, socks or other items because I didn’t have time to do the laundry.
  •  My fuel light came on because I hadn’t had time to fill it up.
  •  I can’t keep up with household chores.
  •  I don’t have enough quality time with my spouse and/or children.

If some of these symptoms describe your life, it’s time to prescribe a remedy. Coach yourself about what actions to take by asking these coaching questions:

  1. What is causing me the most stress?
  2. What could I do differently to eliminate or decrease that stress? Who could help? What activity or unnecessary effort could I drop for now?
  3. What’s missing from my life right now (i.e., enough rest, space, resources) that would enhance my well-being? What step could I take towards having more of that missing piece in my life?

Valorie Burton is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC), speaker, and author of five books, including How Did I Get So Busy?The 28-Day Plan to Free Your Time, Reclaim Your Schedule and Reconnect with What Matters Most. Subscribe to her free, weekly e-newsletter at http://www.valorieburton.com and follow her at http://www.twitter.com/valorieburton.

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