The word “cobbler” comes from a bygone era and quickly conjures up visions of Charles Dickens and not so much modern times. But the fact of the matter is – despite living in the 21st century – you may suffer from Cobbler’s Children Syndrome (CCS) all the same.
Simply put, CCS describes a situation where a cobbler spends so much time repairing shoes for all the villagers, that he has neither the time nor inclination to do the same for his own family. As a result, his children have the worse shoes of all the children in the village.
Now, I doubt YOU are a cobbler in the strict sense of the word, but the irony of this syndrome can play out in many situations.
However, let’s focus on just one of these situations, which happens to be the severest of all – when you give and give to other people and causes, until you have nothing left to give to you.
Maybe you have a big heart. Maybe you have a hard time saying “no.” Maybe you feel you have to live up to a set of expectations. No matter the reason, if you have a tendency to take on too many things…it won’t be long before you start to become overwhelmed, exhausted, frustrated, and resentful.
And there’s only one way out of this downward spiral: become a gatekeeper for your schedule. And not an I’ll-let-anyone-or-anything-through gatekeeper but an I’ll-kick-your-butt-if-you-even-try-to-get-past-me gatekeeper.
You and you alone control how you use your time, with a few exceptions, of course. But if you don’t guard your time and use of it, then who will? You have to have high standards for how you manage your time…or else it – and all those extra, non-essential commitments – will manage (or should I say manhandle?) you.