Entrepreneurial women step through the multitasking doorway on a regular basis. We show up to our work, our sick children, our deadlines and our promises to ourselves- all in a typical day. There are times we truly cannot see an alternative to multitasking. But if we routinely auto-pilot into multitasking, we may find that we’ve been leaning on a false belief that tells us the more we take on, the more capable we are. When we buy in to this false truth, we can get stuck in juggling mode. With projects circling high overhead, we’ll continue tossing in new things that need to be done, and continue to disconnect from our feeling of exhaustion, calling it pride instead -“Look at me, we’ll say, “I can do all this!”
Yes, girls, it’s true, we can do all that- and more. And sometimes we can even sustain it for a time without too much cost. But when we stay in juggler-mode, we may come to mistake not dropping things for life balance. The hidden cost is what can best be described as “splitting our fire.”
Think of your fire as your internal energy. Our internal fires can burn brilliantly when well tended, creating more than we need. When we have excess, we can reach deep down and grab from the center whenever more energy is required. But when we don’t tend our fires, and go over our limit, we slice our fire, and our energy, in half.
Picture a roaring bonfire of radiant energy. Now imagine if you split that fire in half and pulled the two halves far apart. Does each half burn as brightly or put out as much heat? Now do it again. How many are now needed to create the same output? If we split our fires with our multitasking again and again, how much more work is now necessary to tend them? We can run around from one small fire to the next, then the next, exhausting ourselves in the process, and still not receive the output that we had with a single, strong blaze.
Women who create, innovate and inspire need big fires. How many of us know that our big ideas are what we are called to do, but at the same time feel confused by both a lack of progress and the amount of energy seemingly required to make them come true? What if we discovered ways to bring together all our little fires and learned to tend the one exceptionally well? How much energy would we discover and how brightly would we shine then?