Are You Wearing Too Many Hats? Trendy or Foolish?

hats_optAt our core, we are all somebody’s son or daughter.  If we are lucky, we are also a sister or brother, a niece or nephew, a mother or father, a wife or a husband. We wear those “hats” proudly.

These relationships alone need our nurturing and sometimes, even managing 24/7. But the fact is that we all lead busy lives that extend beyond the scope of these familial connections.

If you have a job, you can switch “hats” as soon as you leave the house, and immerse yourself in that role and alternate responsibilities. Two hats, no biggie.

If you are solepreneur with a home-based business, you’ll have a little more of a daily challenge of juggling your work life with home-life.  It’s very hard to separate these two hats, but if you set boundaries, it can be done.  Finding the balance is the secret.

This all seems simple enough. Go to work, return home, relax, sleep, repeat. Think again. I think we aspire to be busy, it’s part of our trendy culture.  We fill the voids of our free schedule with a myriad of other responsibilities and yet complain about not having enough time to do other things we enjoy.

Some of us volunteer for  multiple committees, sit on a variety of executive boards, coach children’s sports and/or carpool their over-scheduled activities, or accept additional work-related commitments and opportunities that are not mandatory. Add on the extracurricular activities like the gym, exercise, or any sport we try to squeeze in, and we are maxx-ed out at our limit.  We’ve hit the wall, alas.

So this begs the question, are you in over your head?  How many hats are too many?

At a recent NAPO conference in New Orleans, clinical psychologist, Dr. David Tolin suggests that our time should match up with our values and goals. We must learn to prioritize.  Take an honest look at your life. If you don’t have enough “free” time, evaluate the reasons.  One of the biggest time wasters is the inability to say “no.” Dr. Tolin infers that we feel too guilty to decline a request because too often we worry what others will think, or fear they will think we are lazy. We are reluctant to disappoint and equate compliance with increased respect and like-ability (and that goes for our children’s suffocating schedules, as well).  So we agree to wearing yet another “hat.”  Tolin makes an excellent point,  we have a tendency to value other people’s time more than our own. We must learn to say “no” and not feel guilty about these choices.

While wearing many hats can be outwardly impressive, we should really look at the bigger picture.  If we value time, we must question if another new role compromises it.  If we spread ourselves too thin, something’s got to give.  It can only result in burn-out.  The need to set limits and boundaries is paramount.

Is there something you want to do that you’re not able to do because of an obligation you were reluctant to decline?

So the next time someone recruits you for yet another commitment, before you say “yes,” ask yourself if you’re in over your head.

Remember you have only one head, so how many hats can you wear effectively?  Too many hats of too many colors may not be the fashion trend that you can wear well.

Read this post on single page to comment →