7 Delightful Reasons To Lighten Your Load
Are you a collector? For most of my life, I’ve been cheerfully collecting this and that.
Rather than purchasing souvenirs on vacation, I purchased salt and pepper shakers as reminders of where I’d been.
Exchanging letters brought me great joy, and my sweet Nana, who lived five hours away, consistently wrote me letters growing up. As I expanded my letter writing to include various pen pals, I began collecting stamps.
Spare change? I collected pennies.
My passion for reading – I collected books.
I was energized by the hunt. Captivated by the process of organizing the stamps, pennies, and books I’d gathered. My parents even purchased me a special cabinet to display my salt and pepper shaker collection in.
My Current Collections
I no longer seek more salt and pepper shakers, stamps, or pennies. In more recent years, my collecting has taken new forms – birdhouses (a sign of God’s provision to me), dishes to facilitate my love of entertaining, and books – that collection continues to grow!
Collecting has a way of keeping you hungry for more. When do you have enough salt and pepper shakers or stamps or birdhouses? Is a collection ever complete?
In my observation, leaders tend to have the collecting bug. It often starts out with a single leadership role but over time the responsibilities have a way of expanding. Initially the added responsibilities seem doable, but long term they are rarely sustainable. The weight of the responsibilities often feels crushing. Maybe you are feeling that way right now. If so, here are seven delightful reasons to lighten your load:
1. His Load Is Light!
Feeling bogged down or overwhelmed by your responsibilities? That’s a good sign that you’ve taken on more than God intended for you to and that you are trying to do it in your own strength.
Have you bought into the myth that doing important work requires you to labor hard and struggle to get it done? That’s just not true! Jesus said:
“…the load I give you to carry is light.” Matthew 11:30b (NCV)
That doesn’t mean the work God’s given you to do will be blissfully easy. There will be stretching and growing that happens because that work will inevitably take you out of your comfort zone. But He wants you to leave the heavy lifting to Him.
Is the load you are lifting the load He wants you to be carrying or are you lugging around some heavy loads that aren’t yours to carry?
2. Life Is Better With Boundaries!
Your strengths, values, limits, and goals all help to create boundaries for you, making it easier for you to determine what to take on and what to skip. Ignore those boundaries and you will find yourself in an unhappy place! Probably stressed and frustrated too!
Your inability to say no will ultimately wear you out! And even though you may be tempted, you can’t blame anyone but yourself for saying yes too many times!
What boundaries have you been ignoring?
3. Less is More!
Your capacity is limited. You can’t do it all despite what everyone says! No more spreading yourself too thin.
Putting more energy into fewer roles – that’s the key to getting significantly better results. Intellectually, that makes sense, right? Yet parting with responsibility isn’t easy. It requires you to narrow your focus and make some hard choices. It means being bold and letting go of some of responsibilities – perhaps responsibilities that you really enjoy but are robbing you of the energy you need for more important tasks.
Taking time periodically to assess what you and only you can do and what you need to let go of is powerful!
Ready to get serious about eliminating and enjoy more big wins? You might want to check out Greg McKeown’s book Essentialism.
4. Multitasking Is a Myth
When your life is brimming with responsibilities, the temptation to multitask is great! You might even think you are a good multitasker and that you’re saving time, but multitasking invariably ends up costing you. Studies have shown that you retain less information when multitasking, make more mistakes, and it takes four times longer to recognize new information each time you switch tasks. When multitasking, or more accurately, task-switching is your habit, it’s nearly impossible to be present, difficult to focus, and contributes to being perceived as rude by those around you.
Did you know multitasking actually damages your brain? It’s true! It actually makes it more difficult to remember things and to distinguish between what’s important and what’s not.
Want to stand out and do your very best? Focus on one thing at a time, which may mean you need to have less to focus on! (See #3)
5. You Want to Make a Difference!
You want your life to have meaning, significance, and purpose. Taking on more and more is often an attempt to meet those desires. However, what gives life meaning is not what you take on, but how you do what you do; how you lean into who God create you to BE. When you operate out of who you are in Him, your life will naturally make a difference.
6. Peace of Mind
Being pulled in too many directions rarely leads to peace. Instead, you feel stressed, stretched, and overwhelmed. Eventually those feelings take a toll on your health and relationships, leaving you discouraged.
Lightening your load – now that’s sure to give you peace of mind! Who doesn’t want that?
7. Demonstrates You Trust Him!
What happens with you don’t trust God? Fear, insecurity, and a lack of identity set in and cause you to strive and take on more and more. Or on the other end of the spectrum, you resist any task that seems too risky. Both require you to trust God!
Delegating? You must trust that God will show you who to delegate to and trust that they will accomplish it well.
Letting go? It’s essential to trust that God will provide for you financially and that you will find fulfillment in whatever He wants you to focus on.
Stepping into a riskier role and ditching the easy roles – that too demands a step of faith!
Trust the Lord with all your heart, and don’t depend on your own understanding. Remember the Lord in all you do, and He will give you success. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NCV)
What comes up for you when you think about lightening your load?