Overworked and Overwhelmed by Scott Eblin

It takes some conviction to go ahead and preach people on what exactly is ‘their’ problem. Few people admit it themselves, so it’s kind of difficult to make them see it. Especially to workaholics who feel that working more is the best and only way towards success.

4

4/5

Author : Scott Eblin
Originally Published :2014
Publication :Wiley
Pages : 276
Genre(s) : Non-Fiction

Scott Eblin is a confident new age self-help guru, motivational speaker, author of bestsellers, leadership expert and executive coach. Scot begins the book on usual note- his experience of speaking to a hall full of accomplished executives who nod their heads in unison when he tells them that when they’re busy getting things done, they actually don’t really know what needs to be done. He posits one key question, that with just 168 hours a week offers, and while busy working most of it, what is the alternative to being overworked and overwhelmed, after all?

I must confess here that though I loved the book, I don’t quite fit the bill for someone who’s overworked and overwhelmed. That’s because I have been consciously practicing what Scot preaches- the mindfulness mantra. Ever since I can remember, I have been able to squeeze in a lot of work that never really overwhelmed me. Could be because I just love what I do. Or rather, I only do what I love and delete everything else.

So as Scott asks, what’s the alternative to mindfulness living? It’s mindless living, for sure. What else. Although Scott claims Jon Kabat Zinn as the pioneer of mindfulness and somewhere comments that he’s not a Buddhist monk or a secular alternative (whatever that means), mindfulness has been around for several centuries now. Scott has his own story of how he came to practice Yoga and mindfulness. Scott turned Multiple Sclerosis on its head literally by abandoning the trial medicine and opting for Yoga instead that helped him get back on his feet, merely by focusing and understanding his body better.

Why people get overworked

For starters, they’ve got a lot on their plates. As they settle in their careers, they’ve started family and bought that home and the car and have EMIs to pay. They have to pack in late hours in office to face the assessment where everyone’s outdoing each other. The promotion is round the corner and then work becomes part of everything you do. There’s no escaping work anywhere.

People feel pressured by work, health issues, relationships, goals in life and more. They forget that they need to be present to win. What is this presence?

  • Personal presence – how you view things and how others view you
  • Team Presence – getting things done from your team through the day
  • Organizational presence- getting more done from a team than what you’d do alone

 

What’s mindfulness?

Simply put, it’s Awareness + Intention.

Paying attention to purpose, being in the moment, being non-judgmental. This awareness leads to choice, to choose what you want to do and feel in the moment and that leads to intention. Mindfulness is managing the gap between your thoughts and actions, beginning by dwelling on your thoughts.

I loved this simple explanation for mindfulness. Scott goes on to list the barriers to mindfulness- mental chatter and distractions.

So what’s the way out

  • Defeating that feeling of being overwhelmed. That prevents a lot of fatigue, burnout and that chronic flight-or-flight response that you’re so used to facing all the time.
  • Knowing where lay our life’s GPS- where are we headed to. Knowing the purpose solves a lot of problems.
  • Knowing what we repeatedly do with mindfulness- whether its physical, mental, relational or spiritual.
  • Sleep better, eat mindfully, checking your ego and managing relationships and time better.

Key takeaways

  1. Though Scott Eblin’s book does not really tell you something you don’t know already, his way of putting it down, which comes with years of practicing what he teaches and coaching people who’ve suffered from this breakdown, comes across as honest and delightful.
  2. Overworked and overwhelmed is more of a feeling that being. Scott dissects the reasons why we feel that way and goes on to let you find the answers
  3. Through being aware and mindful of each moment, we learn to lead lives that achieve its purpose in the long run

Why I recommend this book

Because for one, you always need someone to offer you a ringside view of your situation. If you already know why you’re feeling burned out, as also the solutions to it, our mind will accept it only when someone shows us a mirror. Admitting what’s wrong with us is the first step towards fixing the problem.

I would strongly recommend this book if you’re still young and not feeling overwhelmed as yet, for that’s when you put things in perspective, and not when things actually go haywire.

Read, pause, make notes and implement the simple suggestions in this book to know how beautiful life can be.

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