Overload Syndrome Exam

Overload Syndrome Exam

Perhaps one of the biggest problems with the family is this breathless pace in which we live our lives. It’s killing the very soul of the family. Most people tend to be too busy and they become over committed and under connected with many of their primary relationships.

Too many of us, lack margin in our lives.

“Margin” is the space that exists between ourselves and our limits. If we are living a balanced life, our “margins” will remain healthy. On the other hand, the unbalanced life will not be kind to the areas we neglect. Financial pressures, over commitment, fatigue—each eats away at a person’s margin until there’s no more margin left. Then what?

Well, a few years ago, my wife, Cathy, and I were asked to speak to a group of people on this very topic. Knowing that each of us was equally susceptible to falling into the overload trap, we decided to make a list of the “warning signs” we should be looking for to keep from “overloading” our lives.

We came across a book by Richard A. Swenson, M.D. titled, Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives. And based on his inspiration, we created what we like to call, “The Jim and Cathy’s Overload Exam.”

How you answer the following ten questions will speak volumes about the kind of life you’re living now—and how this lifestyle will affect your family in the future.

  1. Have you stopped enjoying life because you’re too busy?
  2. Have you stopped developing new relationships?
  3. Are you exhausted most of the time?
  4. (If you’re married) Do you and your spouse have a regular “date night?”
  5. Do you have credit problems or a large load of debt?
  6. Are you getting enough sleep?
  7. Does your family have dinner together on a regular basis?
  8. Do you take a restful “day off?”
  9. Do you have regular “family time” together?
  10. Are your children showing signs of stress?

How did you do?

How you answered these questions speaks volumes about your current quality of life. If it needs to change, then change it – don’t wait for a catastrophe to bring you back to reality!

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Jim Burns

Jim Burns is the president of HomeWord. He speaks to thousands of people around the world each year. He has close to 2 million resources in print in 20 languages. He primarily writes and speaks on the values of HomeWord, which are: Strong Marriages, Confident Parents, Empowered Kids, and Healthy Leaders. Some of his most popular books are: Confident Parenting, The Purity Code, Creating an Intimate Marriage, Closer, and Doing Life with Your Adult Children. Jim and his wife, Cathy, live in Southern California and have three grown daughters, Christy, Rebecca, and Heidi; three sons-in-law, Steve and Matt, and Andy; and three grandchildren, James, Charlotte and Huxley.

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