Personal Capacity


I wrote before how you need to simplify when you are reaching your capacity. I’ve noticed a struggle when people think it’s not fair because they reach their capacity before other people. We all know people with tons of energy that book and get an unbelievable amount done. And others reach capacity after finishing 3 things on a to do list.

That’s because capacity is personal. It’s based on things like your energy level. I think you can increase your energy level through good self-care, but not everyone is going to have super energy. It depends on how much time you need between tasks, how many breaks you need, how much alone time renews you. And if you try to push through these limits you will be more depleted.

If much of what you do gives you energy and you are passionate about it, you will have more capacity. If you spend most of your day doing energy draining tasks your capacity will be smaller.

What happens when you reach capacity? Your body says enough. Your productivity starts going downward even though you are still working. Mistakes happen more often and your mind gets fuzzy & jumbled. We think powering through is the answer.

But, the real answer is to stop.

If it’s in the middle of the work day, take a 5 min break, especially if you think you don’t have time for it. If you hit a wall every day at 2pm, think about some ways to simplify or change things up so you have time to rest at that time. If 5:30 pm turns you into a yelling, exhausted maniac, how can you prepare ahead of time so that time is easier?

If you feel you have reached capacity before the day even starts, what are some ways you can cut back, spend less, do less, expect less?



  • Lori says:

    I think I may have been attempting to function well beyond my personal capacity for some time now – but I hadn’t realized it. I will definately think about how to correct this! Thanks for this info ūüôā

  • Julia says:

    I think that this may be my first comment on your site. I cannot tell you enough how much I needed to read this post today. Thank You.

  • Beth says:

    It’s easy to do Lori, especially if we don’t stop to check in with ourselves.

    I am so glad this was helpful Julia. I felt strongly I needed to put it out there.

  • K-Sue says:

    So well said! Like knowing one’s limits, but stopping short of the limit so there is a reserve.

    I have a small personal capacity for telephone conversation. Lately a friend who wants A LOT of FREQUENT contact has taught me that my phone is my servant, and I answer it when it is convenient, and that I choose when I want to have a conversation, and that I will decide based on the message left whether this is my emergency.

  • Rosemarie says:

    Very good advice Beth and I love your comment about the telephone K-Sue.

  • Thank you for all your posts, the declutter calendar and the weekly simplicity tips. I can’t express how much your advice are helping me simplifying my life. If you ever come to Iceland and need help planning your travels here e.t.c., do send me an e-mail and I’ll help :).

    Best, Hafdís, Reykjavík, Iceland.

  • Beth, it’s nice to meet another voice in the corner of an otherwise noisy room. I’m a huge fan of recognizing and honoring the limits of one’s personal capacity and am so glad to see someone else talking about the same thing.


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