Capacity: 'the maximum amount that something can contain'
'the ability or power to do, experience or understand something'
I love my morning green tea or dark coffee from a press. I love to drink it on the go out of my favourite house mug, not a travel mug. So there I am in the truck with a full mug of hot tea with no lid. It's dumb - especially because I like a clean truck. But I keep doing it, foolishly believing that all roads will be smooth today. Maybe I'm an optimist.
Everyone has their own capacity mentally, physically, financially, creatively. We have limits. There are only so many things we can pay attention to, only so many things we can accomplish. And it's different for everyone...
If you want to be happy try not to compare yourself with the accomplishments of your colleagues and peers. Their capacity may inspire you, but don't let it become the standard you hold yourself to. I know I could increase my sales with a modest amount of effort, but I know I don't currently have the capacity to handle that much actual work. Something would spill.
Here's the thing about capacity - respecting it means accepting what your limitations are and setting your own boundaries below your max output. Filling your cup to capacity guarantees that there will be a mess when you try to move it - you lose flexibility. Rather than absorbing a bump in the road, even a small snag can be stressful and costly.
Few things are able to perform at maximum capacity for long periods without serious consequences. Think of your truck's engine - it has the ability to rev up to the redline without damaging it. But if you run at redline all the time it will significantly decrease the life of your engine and it will make driving a very stressful experience.
Think about your capacity before committing to an opportunity. Does it fit inside your cup with room to spare? Will it take you closer to or further from your goals? Learning to say no is difficult - especially at the start up phase where you are in survival mode. However, respecting your capacity will help you enjoy your work more, serve your customers better and keep the hot tea off your lap. It will allow you the flexibility to pursue the right opportunities while managing the challenges along the way.
Capacity can change according to circumstances or it can grow as we become more competent, more experienced, as we invest in tools and technology, as we add more labour capacity.
It's not uncommon to hear older tradesmen say 'stay small, you make the same money with far less stress'
On this topic, I recently discovered this counter-intuitive operating principle that you may find valuable. Just click on the link:
TO BE MORE CREATIVE, SCHEDULE YOUR WORK AT 80% CAPACITY
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