“Life is to be lived, not controlled.”
Ralph Ellison’s words might hold some truth, but take one look around you and you’ll find that most of us are guilty of having our life firmly on reins.
Granted, organisation, order, and discipline are imperative when it comes to managing both your personal and professional life, but when you scrutinise the fine print of life, when you over-analyse and dissect each decision you take, and when you try to assume control over every aspect of your existence… that’s when you stand the risk of burning out and being mentally exhausted.
“In simple terms, micromanaging just adds unnecessary stress to your life,” says Monika Chatterjee, a 27-year-old therapist.
“For example, if you’re someone who goes, ‘should I be the one to plan every detail of the holiday? What time do we leave? Have I packed? Does everyone have their passports? Will we miss the sunrise if we leave later than 6.45 am? Did you check? Should I recheck?’ then you are guilty of it and need to introspect.”
Furthermore, Monika adds that when you take on more responsibilities than required, it could be detrimental to your mental and physical health.
“In what may seem like assertiveness, you subsequently begin to worry about things that are of no consequence — when you could be spending quality time with friends and family instead.
“Also, instead of focusing on a few things, you end up focusing on many, so chances of accidents and mistakes run high. And lastly, you stand a risk of being branded a control freak, and that could ruin relationships too.”
Apart from your personal life, your professional life takes a hit too, especially if you’re in a position of power.
“Back in college, I was privileged enough to be heading the college fest,” says Faiza Syed, a 25-year-old physiotherapist. “I wish I could say it was a smooth ride, but in truth, it was chaos. There were a ton of volunteers, and all I had to do was to delegate work and ensure everything went according to the plan.”
However, that is when Faiza’s paranoia kicked in. “I was rechecking the score sheets, the decor, the vote of thanks, the arrangements — everything, really. It didn’t really go down well with the team because I was interfering a lot, and it stalled work copious number of times. My tendency to micromanage meant I went ridiculously overboard.”
Summing it up, Faiza says that micromanaging leaves no room for spontaneity, and while it makes you feel like you’re in cruise control, she learnt the hard way that it can be quite taxing and suffocating.
In conclusion, we can admit that yes, there is indeed a very fine line between managing and micromanaging. Overstep, and it could lull you into a false sense of control that could prove extremely damaging in the long term.
Wouldn’t it be better to relax, to let go, and to let life chart its own course and pleasantly surprise you every now and then?
As Ellison said, why waste energy controlling the nitty-gritty of life when you can live it instead?
Image Credit: Monday.com