Too Much to Do

You don’t have to do it all, even if you think you do. You’ve just got yourself in the habit of doing everything that you tell yourself needs to be done.

‘I need to do it all.’

‘I must do it all. I have to do it all.’

‘Things will fall apart otherwise.’

I must:

be a wonderful calm and patient mother at all times.

be a supportive loving wife at all times.

build a coaching business.

get a great degree.

have hobbies that are meaningful.

be on all forms of social media.

while making time to be mindful and present in every moment.

look pulled together.


eat well.

cook from scratch.

be there for everyone else.

be current.

not disappoint people.

be on time.

show up even when I don’t feel like it.

follow all the rules I have made for myself.

have a house that looks as though no one actually lives there and makes a mess.

do all of this without any help, because who would be able to help and anyway do I deserve the help and what if the help doesn’t help?

What is your need to do it all list?

Mine used to be especially harsh when I worked as a teacher before becoming a coach. In teaching or any other busy job where others are depending on you, there are a lot of plates to keep spinning. The problem is that if you are always keeping all the plates spinning you might and up in burnout and then you won’t be in a fit state to help anybody.

Go through your ‘do it all’ list and use this tool from Martha Beck. It’s called the 3Bs.

The Three Bs

B – BAG IT – What can you bag or not do? What can you cross off your list completely?

For some people, this one is especially difficult so always begin by asking this and begin to notice if you are never using this particular step. If this is the case and you rarely are deciding NOT to do things then start with small things to build up your tolerance of doing this.

You could also work with a coach about your thoughts that you really must do everything. If we did this together we would look at the effects that this thought was having in your life and start to make a bridge to a new alternative way of thinking.

B – BARTER IT – This is when you give all or part of a task to someone else. You might swap with them for a task that you like to do more or are more able to do and so find easier. You might also barter by paying someone else to do a task for you. I often coach women who know that they are at the stage in their career or business growth when it would be a good idea to get help in the house. They can afford it and it would free them up to do more of their great work and to have more time for fun.

A lot of them have huge resistance to getting help with the home for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it would feel like an invasion of privacy and for others, they just feel that they ‘should’ be able to look after the home too.

But ask yourself is it more important that you clean your own kitchen floor or that you do your wider work in the world? This is not to demean cleaning a kitchen floor as that also is noble work as who wants to stick to the floor? No one really wants a home that reminds them of that studenty pub they used to go to. So it is noble work, but is it your right work for right now?

Another problem that can come hand in hand with better it is the problem of ASKING. When you barter you have to ask someone to help you with something. When you have been a super powerhouse of getting things done for everybody else this asking part can feel really hard. Why is that? What do you think people will think of you if you ask for help? If you get stuck here you need to practise asking. When the waiter forgets something rather than just do without, try asking. Start off with little asks and build up your ask ability until you can make the big asks.

B -BETTER IT – This one is my favourite which maybe says something about how I might need to work on my ability to bag things or barter things. For any task that you need to do how can you make it feel better?

Can you break it down into smaller chunks or do it in batches so that you do like tasks together?

Can you do it in a better environment or improve the environment that you are doing the task in?

Can you do it with a friend?

Can you reward yourself after you complete the task?

Can you do the task with some great music on or a podcast/audio book to keep you company?

Can you find some other way of doing the task that would be more fun?

There comes a point where you realise that you can’t keep doing everything that you are doing. At that point, you can use a tool like the 3Bs on a regular basis to really become conscious of the things you are doing and to consider whether you need to be doing them all.

This process might not come naturally to you, after all, you probably have a long pattern of doing everything you can to succeed and to help others succeed. Start small and you can do this step by step.

The ball doesn’t always have to be in your court.

If you’d like to talk with me about the possibility of coaching together email me at and I’ll be in touch soon.