The corporate commitment trap

I read a lot about overwork and stress in the workplace. I also read about all the initiatives organisations are putting in place to mitigate the problem. It’s encouraging to see we’re taking action, but it doesn’t seem to be making a huge difference.

That got me wondering and reflecting on my own experiences. I’ve concluded we’re working hard to fix the wrong thing, and this is why we’re not seeing massive results.

Let me set out my argument…

We believe our colleagues are overwhelmed and therefore stressed; from this belief, we give them the tools and practices to cope with the stress and resolve the overwhelm. But it’s not an overwhelm problem.

Overwhelm is a thinking problem, i.e. you believe your negative thoughts are true.

This isn’t a thinking problem. This is an over-commitment problem.
It’s not that we can’t cope with the work, the work literally outstrips our capacity, but we’re trying to make it fit.

We’re not overwhelmed, we’re over-committed.

No amount of stress management training is going to resolve an over-commitment problem. What we need are better capacity management processes and behavious so we don’t say ‘yes’ when we really should say ‘no’ or ‘not now’.

What do you think? Do you agree? What should we do?

If you do want to learn how to manage stress, prioritise like your life depends on it and how to say ‘no’, then drop me a message too.

let me coach you every week via Email

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