Quiet quitting is the new buzzword in the workplace. Apparently, it’s not a new concept, but it’s been made popular just recently. Have you heard about it? I’ve heard a little bit about it but haven’t really dug into the full meaning until just the other day when I was taking an assessment of my life. Have you ever done that? Just stopped to look at what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. And maybe you analyze how much of your life feels like a grind and how much feels fulfilling and satisfying. As I was doing this, the term “quiet quitting” popped into my mind. Which is kind of random because I don’t consider it a term that I relate to as I’m not in corporate with a conventional job.
So, here’s a pretty good definition I’ve found while trying to understand the term more. In the workplace, depending on what side of the desk you’re sitting on, quiet quitting may have different meanings. Employers might see the term as negative, siting that employees who are quiet quitting are slackers who are willfully underperforming, not engaged or invested in the good of the company. Conversely, the employee who is quiet quitting sees themselves as engaged but setting healthy and reasonable boundaries for a satisfying work-life balance. So, for them it’s not truly a desire to quit their job, but rather doing precisely what the job requires. But no more. They are not working overtime or excessively but are carrying out the job’s bare minimum in order to reduce stress, overwhelm, and burnout.
As I was searching for the true meaning behind this term, I was looking to see how it relates to life as a whole, not just a job. Because I don’t think you have to have a corporate job, a 9 to 5, or own your own business to find yourself in a position where there is no balance in your life. You can do that in volunteering or ministry, too. You can also do that with a relationship. I think it comes into play anytime you’ve put all your focus, energies, and time into one thing that leaves no room for other equally important things or people in your life.
Someone asked me recently, “When you’re not working, what do you like to do for fun?” I literally was stumped. I have no idea. I really have no idea. I used to know, I think. When I was married, I didn’t have a problem finding things I loved to do. But, see, now that I’m single and live alone, I find that I work a lot. Work has become my companion. I don’t watch TV at night, so I’ll dive into a book about emotional healing or dig into some studies and white papers on neuroscience. Or I’ll research a specific topic that one of my coaching clients has brought up. And if I don’t have plans on the weekend, which I rarely do, I’ll just find myself working through the weekend. I know I’m not the only one who does this. Um, right?
So, the other day I was talking to the Lord about the whole of my life.
Is there something more?
Am I putting my energy and time into the right things?
Should I keep doing this?
Should I start doing that?
Should I quit that and consider a different focus?
Does what I’m doing have an impact and does it matter?
Am I doing too much? Or too little?
Are the things I’m doing satisfying, filling me up? Life-giving?
So, I needed to know if I’m living life fully. Or if I’m headed towards burnout. And this term “quiet quitting” came to mind.
Let me remind you that in the workplace, the employee who is quiet quitting sees themselves as engaged but setting healthy and reasonable boundaries for a satisfying work-life balance.
And….that’s when I realized that’s exactly what I needed. Like right now. I recognized that I don’t have a healthy and/or satisfying work-life balance. Case in point, I don’t even know what I like to do outside of work. And by the way, I love, love, love, love my work. I will never quit being a Life Coach. It’s the most rewarding and fulfilling job I’ve ever had, second to raising my children, of course. But it truly is the best job in the world, and I thank God every day that I get the privilege of watching Him set His daughters free right before my eyes. It’s something I’ll never take for granted. I feel so blessed to be a Life Coach. I’m fully engaged and, obviously, am more than willing to go way past the boundaries of the job’s bare minimum. But I need to set healthy boundaries to create more space for a more full, well-rounded life. Can you relate? Are you feeling the tug, too?
So, I’m quiet quitting my life. How do you do that? Because there are still things that need to be attended to. You can’t just check out and not be responsible. Jesus taught, “Let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and your ‘no’ be ‘no’” - Matthew 5:37. In other words, be good for your word. If you tell someone you’re going to do something, do it. Even if that person is you. Honor your word. I have a few speaking engagements, as well as a retreat I’m hosting for approximately 50 women at the end of this month. So, I need to give a little extra focus and energy there without creating an even more unhealthy balance. My birthday is also coming up in a few weeks. And that’s not really the big deal. The big deal is that Brian’s birthday was the day after mine, and I’ll need a little extra mental and emotional space to process through the grief…again. Thankfully, processing that grief gets less and less intense each year. But I still want to make room for it. I want to create an intentional balance there to reduce stress and the possibility of overwhelm and burnout.
So, how to? Well, if you’re like me and find yourself knee deep in projects and deadlines at the time you discover you need to quiet quit, then your first inclination might be to prioritize things. When I started doing that with my list, I determined that I needed to chunk something out the window in order to be able to give something else more time and energy. And unintentionally causing more unbalance in my life. But I thought something had to go. Yes, this podcast was almost the victim of my quiet quitting. That’s because I could already feel the overwhelm coming on and my brain just needed some relief, and I thought the easiest thing was to just shut this down for a while. It’s when our emotional brain takes over that makes us tend to run away from or duck out of commitments. Our brains justify the abandonment of our “yes” because it starts to feel too hard. But as soon as I invited my adult brain where my logic, reasoning, and sound decision making comes from to the party, it allowed me to understand that prioritizing was actually not helping me because it gave heavier weight to one thing than another. Instead, I gave equal prioritization to projects and deadlines and work as I did to relationships and fun and adventure in my life. Not one thing is dominating my time or my thought life or my energy. By the way, I’m going to do another episode on how to “super think” which will show you exactly how I invited my adult brain to put my stress and overwhelm in check. That’s coming soon.
Now, if you’re not already in over your head, here is your “How To”: Know yourself. Know your limits. Understand how you are uniquely wired, how you typically respond to external stimuli, how much rest and downtime you need, how much alone time you need, or if you’re an extrovert, how much ‘people’ time you need. Know what makes you feel full and satisfied. Know what makes you feel healthy and alive. Know what it is that God has specifically designed for you to do. Ephesians 2:10 says that you were created to do good works, things that God planned for you even before you were born. If you don’t already know, find out what that it is. You have a specific purpose to fulfill on this earth. Be in alignment with His word, pouring yourself out for the gospel, and then retreating with Him to be filled back up. Taking care of people and taking care of yourself. And be okay with all of this. This will be your template going forward.
Then, as you go, you’ll need to stop and take assessment of things. Ask yourself, “Am I doing things in order to please people? How much of what I’m doing is because I know God has called and equipped me to do it, and how much is done because I’m afraid to disappoint or let people down? Or because I want to impress people?”
So, think for a minute. What is it that’s taking up all of your brain power, energy, and time? What are you missing in your life? Are you subconsciously not doing something in order to avoid how that might feel? You’ll have to dig into your brain a little bit to get that answer. Are you out of balance? And what might you need to add to create more balance?
Let me tell you what I’m going to add into my life to bring more balance of fun. I love country dancing, and oh boy has it been a while so I’m a little rusty. So, starting next week, I’m going to take dance lessons one night a week for about 8 weeks. And then every Friday night, as much as I possibly can, I’m going to a dance hall not too far from my house to work on my boot scootin’ boogie. And then I’m going to find out what else I like to do on the weekends instead of work. And I’m going to plan something fun.
See, this is what I’ve figured out about myself. Work has become my coping mechanism. If I pour myself into my job, I don’t have to face the silence that comes from living alone. Now I know I’m not the only one feeling this way because I talk to a lot of widows. But it becomes a trap and it’s not healthy emotionally. It’s avoiding reality and the subsequent emotions that would normally come up. And we know avoiding emotions creates havoc in our minds and bodies. That’s something I talk a lot about on this podcast. So, sometimes we need to stop and take assessment of what we’re doing and why we’re doing it to see if it’s a healthy or not.
So, friend, what about you? Do you have a good work-life balance? Have you set healthy boundaries for yourself that makes space for the things and people you love in your life? Are you creating more space for adventure or exploration? Are you having fun? If you didn’t answer “yes” to these, be aware that stress, overwhelm, and burnout are right around the corner. Take care of yourself. Know what you need to bring peace into your life, and don’t be afraid to implement the changes necessary to get that peace. And know that it’s okay to quiet quit those things that have taken up the greatest portion of your time and energy in order to continue to do all that God has purposed and designed for you to do.
Hey, did you hear me say don’t prioritize? That’s so not our normal way, right? But when we put heavier weight on one thing over another, we get our work-life out of balance. If you’d like some help quiet quitting in your life, I’d love to be your Life Coach and help you do this.
I’ve put a link in the show notes for a free 30-minute call just so we can see if we’re a good fit to work together and show you how Life Coaching would work for you.
Also, don’t forget to get the free, downloadable guide that complements this episode. It has a few prompt questions that will help you personally work through some of the things I’ve talked about today. It’s like a little Life Coaching at home.
Have a wonderful week, friends. See you next Wednesday for the next episode of Another Beautiful Life podcast.