Take off a few hats

How many hats are you wearing right now? If you have a job, you wear an employee hat. Perhaps you also run a side hustle that employs one or two staff, in which case you also wear a boss hat for your business. You might also be married and wear a spouse hat. If you have children, you also wear a parent hat. What other duties do you perform at home? Are you the chef, the one everyone relies on to organise events or laundry?

Stress
End result of too many hats

At some point, you have probably felt overwhelmed by the number of hats you have to wear. You may not have thought of it in those terms. You probably just felt too stretched, had one too many late nights during the week and always wake up feeling tired. During the lockdown, I know a few people who complained about not having enough time to do other tasks because they suddenly had a house full of children who no longer had to go to a school. In between working from home, they had to find ways to keep a household full of children entertained, fed and generally out of trouble. School was no longer available to get the children off their hands for a few hours. Daycare was not an option. They felt like a headless chicken.

A man throwing papers in the air as a sign of frustration
I give up

That might be an extreme example but the lockdown experience paints a good picture of what happens when you have too many hats. It becomes more difficult to focus as you run from one role to another. The quality of your work eventually suffers. You start burning lunch because you were in a zoom meeting that went on a little too long and forgot to turn off the gas. You fail to turn in reports on time. You remember too late that you forgot to pack the laundry.

At this point, it’s probably a good time to take a step back and ask yourself which of the hats you can take off or assign to someone else. We teach our children how to cook as they grow older so we can count on them to handle the cooking when we can’t and also do the dishes. Talk to your spouse and see what other responsibilities can be shared. Sometimes, it’s a case of you being a wrong fit for the job. If you don’t have a good head for numbers, maybe you shouldn’t be the one keeping records of the household expenses.

A man running around
Activity does not equal productivity

Some hats will have to be eliminated completely. Knowing which of your hats you should get rid of might not be easy. In the end, only you can decide if it’s worth it. Someone I know struggled to run a business while having a full-time job for a number of years. After some time, his health began to suffer and he consistently failed to complete tasks. He eventually decided to wind up the business and focus on his career. He says he has been happier since and hasn’t looked back. He made a choice to throw in the towel and take off his entrepreneur hat. Another person might have decided to quit his job and dedicate themselves to the business. Only you can decide what is right for you.

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