The Nerve to Take Off the Invisible Backpack

Most of us are familiar with burnout—the emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by prolonged and excessive stress. 

What we don’t talk enough about is the link between burnout and the ‘invisible workload’. This silent burden, the physical and emotional load that’s disproportionately shouldered by women, is a huge contributor to burnout!

The invisible workload is when you’re juggling a million tasks that no one else even sees. It’s that constant mental checklist running in the background – remembering birthdays, sorting out family schedules, or being the peacekeeper of the house. 

These might seem like small tasks, but they stack up, and before you know it, they’re draining your energy. When we’re constantly on the go, trying to keep everything in line without a break, it’s no wonder we end up burning out.

In this episode, we discuss:

In this solo episode, I take you through my best tips for shedding that invisible backpack, including:

  • Understanding the connection between burnout and the burdens of the invisible workload.
  • Why it's crucial, especially for women, to offload tasks that don't need to be single-handedly shouldered.
  • Concrete steps on recognizing the weight of the invisible workload, understanding its consequences, and proactive steps to distribute the weight.

You're not alone in feeling overwhelmed, and your workload doesn't have to feel endless. Listen to this episode to recognize, reassess, and reclaim your time and energy by redefining your workload. 

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Last chance to get your booty to Finish Strong! You can join us in person in Savannah or grab a virtual seat. 

There's real magic that happens when a group of women unite with a shared mission. 

Realizing you're not alone, connecting to others with the same challenges, and then witnessing them choose transformation is a game-changer. 

At Finish Strong, we’re not just acknowledging struggles, we’re confronting them and changing them together. 

I'll be there beside you, ready to give that encouraging push to help you distribute that workload and breathe a little easier.

I hope to see you there!

Get your ticket here => https://go.susanhyatt.co/fs2023

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Susan Hyatt (00:00):
Is there something you wish you had the nerve to do? Welcome to, you've Got Nerve, the podcast that teaches you how to conquer your fears, upgrade your mindset, and get up the nerve to go after whatever you want. If you wish you had the guts to go all in on your goals, dreams, and desires, this show is for you. I'm master certified life coach Susan Hyatt, and I am so excited for you to join me on this journey. Oh, hey. Hey. In today's episode, I'm coming at you solo again with a topic that's always coming up, not just lately. Burnout caused by the invisible workload. So most of us are familiar with burnout. It's the emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by prolonged and excessive stress. And most of the time when you Google burnout, it will bring up stress in the workplace, overwhelm in the workplace.

But what we don't talk enough about what I think it is, is the link between burnout and the invisible workload. This silent burden, the physical and emotional load that's disproportionately shoulder by women is a huge hidden contributor to burnout. Because think about it, if you're overwhelmed by your work responsibilities, plus, plus plus, right? You have the kids stuff, the house stuff, the family stuff that's going to be compounded so much more than if it's just, oh, I'm overwhelmed by my work to-do list. I'm seriously considering a virtual coworking session where all of you just tell me the things on your plate that are weighing you down, and I give you permission to stop doing those things or to hand those things off. Get that invisible backpack off your shoulders. BooBerry. Shedding the invisible backpack is more than just relief. It's an act of self-love. And by banding together in these coworking sessions, we're sending a powerful message.

Our wellbeing matters. Our time is valuable, and we're ready to make changes to reflect that. So take that patriarchy, but what I don't want you to wait for is this coworking session that I absolutely am going to offer. You can start sliding off that backpack right the fuck. Now, today, let's start by identifying what the invisible workload might look like for you. Now, for women, it can include things that are very visible, like cleaning, cooking, managing, and organizing chores, making sure that supplies are stocked, coordinating repairs or maintenance. And if you have kids, it can be things like arranging play dates, making doctor's appointments, working with your kiddos to take the SATs and get admitted into college, shuttling them around to activities, helping them with homework, handling all. Let me tell you something. My kids are 20 something and the emotional and visible workload with 20 somethings is real.

So this includes the emotional labor, like being the go-to person for support or concerns in both family and work settings. In professional contexts, it might be remembering team birthdays, filling in gaps that aren't technically your job, being the note taker or being the official mediator during conflicts. Each task on its own seems small, manageable, maybe even normal or inconsequential, but together it adds layers of stress until we're completely burnt the fuck out. Now every piece of the invisible workload adds a weight to your shoulders, and over time, this weight can become just unbearable. The chronic stress of managing, organizing and remembering all while juggling visible tasks causes deep exhaustion that doesn't go away after a weekend off or even a vacation. Now, it would be like running a marathon while others are running with just their light athletic gear. And here you are chugging along, carrying an invisible backpack that weighs 30 pounds.

The other racers wonder, why are you so tired? After all, isn't everyone running the same race? Well, sure we're all running the same race, but the playing field is certainly not even that's got to change. So for your wellbeing, your invisible backpack needs to be lightened by handing off tasks and responsibilities. Now, I get it. This is easier said than done, especially for women conditioned to be caregivers, organizers, and doers. And if you are constantly feeling stretched, it's a sign that too much is being asked of you or you've taken on too much purposefully. This isn't a reflection of your capabilities. This is an act of self-preservation. So by delegating, you're giving others the opportunity to step up, contribute, and grow. So how do you get started? All right, get a piece of paper and over the next week jot down every task you handle, both big and small.

And by the end of the week, I would love for you to review your list. You'll likely be amazed at just how much you're handling, and I bet your backpack is bursting at the seams. Now, begin with the tasks that are easy to delegate. So who in your circle, family, friends, colleagues could take them on, approach them, discuss it, and hand it off? I mean, it can be as simple as like, Hey, I usually do this. I've realized I can't do it anymore. Here you go. Who else wants this? Or it's just not going to get done. And then take a look at the tasks that it would be possible, but maybe a bit more challenging to delegate things that could be handled with some training and not necessarily by you. So for example, if your family wants chili for dinner, they can handle it.

You don't need to give them the recipe and teach them. They can Google a recipe, shop for ingredients and cook the dish. It may not be the chili you're well known for because listen, I'm excellent at chili, but that's okay. Let them shoulder the responsibility and learn a new skill. Delegating is smart and absolutely essential. You wouldn't expect one musician to play every instrument in an orchestra, so you shouldn't expect yourself to handle every task on your own. Listen, this invisible workload stuff is real and it's effects on our health and wellbeing can be irreversible, but by recognizing where it shows up in your life and addressing it and taking steps to share the load, we can banish burnout, reclaim our time and thrive.

Okay, last chance to get your to finish strong. I have virtual seats available@finishstrongevent.com or get in a car plane, train and get your ass to Savannah and see me in person. Because there's real magic that happens when a group of women unite with a shared mission, realizing you're not alone, connecting to others with the same challenges and then witnessing them. Choose Transformation is a game changer. At Finish Strong. We're not just acknowledging struggles, we're confronting them and changing them together. I'll be there beside you, ready to give that encouraging push to help you distribute that workload and breathe a little easier. I hope to see you there.

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