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#40 overscheduling

Get ready, because I'm going to let you in on a secret: the key to reducing stress, preventing chronic illness, and leading a more fulfilling life is about doing less, not more.

Societal conditioning has taught us to glorify busyness and exhaustion, and it's wreaking havoc on our bodies without us even realizing it.

So, what's the antidote? Simply carving out time to just BE. Let's break from the norm, challenge our overworked, overscheduled brains and see what real relaxation feels like.

Since you’re ready to become your favorite version of you, book a consult to learn more about joining my group starting August 2023!

"So many of my clients and my friends and family have calendars that are completely over-scheduled. You know how these calendars look. They have absolutely zero white space."

What you'll learn in this episode:

  • How societal conditioning that glorifies busyness is causing harm without us realizing it

  • A key to reducing stress, preventing chronic illness, and leading a fulfilling life is doing less

  • Schedule time for fun and enjoyable activities before tackling the must-dos and have-tos

  • Learning to delegate tasks and accept that others may not do it as well is part of the process

"If you're anything like the vast majority of us, your brain will likely tell you that you have no right to do the fun stuff because you haven't completed your never-ending to-do list. Spoiler alert- the to-do list really and truly is never-ending."

Be sure to sign up for a consult to see if joining my August group is the right fit for you. Join us on this powerful journey to become your favorite you.

Listen to the full episode:

Read the full episode transcript

Hey, this is Melissa Parsons, and you are listening to the Your Favorite You Podcast. I'm a certified life coach with an advanced certification in deep dive coaching. The purpose of this podcast is to help brilliant women like you with beautiful brains create the life you've been dreaming of with intentions. My goal is to help you find your favorite version of you by teaching you how to treat yourself as your own best friend.

If this sounds incredible to you and you want practical tips on changing up how you treat yourself, then you're in the right place. Just so you know, I'm a huge fan of using all of the words available to me in the English language, so please proceed with caution if young ears are around.

Oh, hey there. Welcome back to Your Favorite You. I am going to toot my own horn here for just a minute. I read a statistic the other day and it kind of blew my mind, so I wanted to share it. So, as of last year, 2022, there were roughly 2 million podcasts, and 90% of those podcasts past episode three. So, that is 1.8 million podcasters who stopped podcasting.

Of the 200,000 left, 90% of those will quit after 20 episodes, and here we are at episode 40. We are part of the 20,000 podcasts worldwide who show no evidence of stopping. So, I think this is a reason to celebrate, my friends. So, please celebrate with me. The topic for today is overscheduling and overworking.

I will have you know that I am not overscheduling, and I am certainly not overworking PR to produce this podcast for you. If you are listening to this on the day that it drops it is Independence Day in the United States, so July 4th, 2023, and I am going to attempt to offer you the beginning stages of freedom from overscheduling and overworking with this podcast.

Now, there are some of you out there who are working and scheduled just the right amount. Not too little, not too much. I'm not talking to you today. You are in the small minority of those of us who have figured this shit out, so good job. You can quit listening if you want. Let me preface all of this by saying that if you working as much as you are and having your schedule as full as it is a conscious choice and you absolutely love your life and your schedule, and you are never using, being busy as a way to escape your thoughts and your feelings, you don't have a problem.

And this podcast is also not for you. I have a colleague who is like this, who absolutely loves to work long hours, loves her job, she's as productive as fuck, and she's a total badass. This podcast is not for her, but I would have to imagine that she's in the minority. So many of my clients and my friends and family, people I know, and love have calendars that are completely overscheduled.

You know how these calendars look. They have absolutely zero white space. And actually, this podcast topic was Jon Parson's idea so, thank you honey for the idea. He is a recovering overscheduler and overworker, and I am so proud of him for that. I'm proud of you, babe. So, I'm talking to the majority of you.

We have been socialized to believe that being busy and exhausted is a badge of honor, that the busier we are, the more worthy we are. That the more we show up for other people, the better. That our kids must be involved in every activity from a young age, so as not to miss out on any opportunities, and that we must be the ones to accompany them to such activities, or else we are latchkey parents.

Many of us also have the delusion that we are the only ones capable of doing the activities on our list. We allow others to depend upon us so much that the idea of us not being available to do the things on our list really stresses us out. So, thinking, if I don't do this, who will, or no one will be able to do this as well as I can so, I must be the one to do it.

The thing is, many of us get away with this for some time before the chronic overscheduling leads to overwhelm and stress, and burnout. If you don't do something to change this behavior, eventually your body will let you know that it has had enough. The overwhelm and anxiety about your schedule initially take an unseen toll on your body until the body has to make it seen, and you actually end up getting physically ill.

There is more and more evidence to suggest that a lot of chronic illness is due to stress and the inflammation in our bodies caused by stress. There is even data to suggest that autoimmune disease is exacerbated by stress. There's even some data to suggest that stress overwhelm overscheduling can cause the body to attack itself and cause chronic pain.

So, if this is the case, what should we do about it? Most of us can't head off to a monastery and do a month-long silent retreat, and those of us who want to take a sabbatical typically have to plan well in advance to be able to do something like that. One of my favorite hacks for those of us who tend to pack our schedule is to put time on our calendar to just be.

Clear some space on your calendar to just be and watch what comes up. If you're like most of us who have used busyness as a survival tactic, your brain likely will not enjoy just being at first. It will suggest to you a lengthy list of things that you should quote-unquote be doing instead, just notice your brain.

It will likely urge you to do something. You couldn't ask your brain kindly to calm the fuck down and tell it that you actually are doing something. You are breathing. You are paying attention to your thoughts. You are thinking not to mention the million things your body is doing every moment of every day to keep you alive.

Now, you don't have to do this for hours a day. You can start small and work your way up. I would suggest starting with as few as five minutes. The next thing I suggest for my chronic over-schedulers is to put the fun stuff you actually really want to do on your schedule first before you do the musts and the have-tos and the shoulds.

Now, when the fun stuff comes up again, notice your brain. If you're anything like the vast majority of us, your brain will likely tell you that you have no right to do the fun stuff because you haven't completed your never-ending to-do list. Spoiler alert, the to-do list really and truly is never-ending.

So, the things on the list that don't truly matter can definitely wait while you go out and enjoy your life and have some fun and find delight and joy. So again, just observe your brain. Let it know that the to-do list isn't going anywhere and that you will definitely take care of everything on that list that actually matters.

Once you've scheduled time to just be and to do the joy bringing delightful fun things in your life, the next thing is to see what is on your plate and your schedule that should never have been on your plate, to begin with. Or maybe it made sense in the past for it to be on your plate, but now it doesn't make sense for it to be on your schedule anymore.

So, start by taking just one thing off your plate. Some of these things you're going to have to delegate to other people. Some you can simply just stop doing. Only you will know which things are which. If you do delegate, you must accept that whomever you delegate to may never do the thing as well as you do but brace yourself, they may do it better.

Either way, you no longer need to do it, so it's a win. Once you've taken one thing off your plate, try another and watch your life transform before your very eyes. One of the things you may notice as life becomes less busy is that you might have some issues you want to work your way through.

If you have been avoiding being still because you don't want to be with yourself and your thoughts, those thoughts are not going to magically disappear. The good news is that with the extra time you now have on your schedule, you can actually take the time to heal the broken pieces. I know I've said it before on the podcast, but taking the time to heal the broken bits actually makes you stronger.

Like the pieces of Kintsugi art, I have already talked about on the podcast, you fill the wounds and the gaps with gold, and it just makes you and your life more beautiful over time. Doing this work with a coach or a therapist who can ask you meaningful and useful questions, who can guide you through this process with love, who can see you veering off track before you completely go off and guide you back to yourself is an awesome use of your time.

Trying to remember that life is actually meant to be lived, that we are human beings, not human doings. And the more we can be and the less we can do, likely the lovelier healthier life, we will live. Since you are interested in learning how doing less and being more can make your life more beautiful, please join our next group of Your Favorite You group coaching.

We get started in August, and I would love to chat with you about how joining the group can help you get closer to Your Favorite You. Go to to schedule a consult so we can chat all about it. I can't wait to hear from you.

Thank you for listening to the podcast and loving on me all the time. Although the doors are closed for the inaugural group of women wanting to become their favorite versions of themselves. No worries. You still have the opportunity to work with me in a group setting. This group is for you since you are listening to my podcast, you will get amazing coaching plus the beauty of a community of other women who are interested in thriving as much as they can, and you also will want you to succeed at becoming your favorite you.

There is benefit that is undeniable from watching another woman being coached on an issue you've had in the past, or one that you're currently having. Our brains just see so much more possibility when we are not the ones in the hot seat. You'll also have the ability to come every week and share your vulnerability and watch others share their vulnerability.

We know that shame only grows in silence. There is power in being held by other incredible humans who are often caught in some of the same traps that you are with your thinking.

Please go right now to and schedule a consult with me so that I can hear how I can help you, and we can decide together if you are a great fit to join the group.

You'll need to join the waitlist. We start in August. Please join us. You will not regret it.

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