August 06, 2019 It"s easier lớn keep up than catch up: a lesson for life August 06, 2019/ Rowena Mabbott

Listening to a podcast the other day, I heard the phrase, ‘It’s easier to lớn keep up, than catch up’, shared as a simple truth.

I realised it was true in so many ways, and got thinking about how this applies in our lives. For the majority of us in many aspects of our lives, keeping up will be far easier than catching up. In fact, our day to lớn day lives are generally geared around keeping up. Keeping up rather than catching up is one of the key reasons we create habits, systems & routines - all of which assist us with streamlining our everyday lives.

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But before I tóm tắt more about the benefits of keeping up, I’d like to cốt truyện a story about what can happen when we don’t keep up.

Risks of not keeping up

When working with a client recently, she shared that self-care was something completely foreign lớn her. I explained that self-care does not mean massages and spa treatments (although it can!). Rather, self-care means looking after your own needs so that you can be the person you need khổng lồ be. Và the person you need to be includes all the roles you perform; partner, leader, parent, employee, friend, child, sibling và so on.

My client confessed she had never prioritised herself, her wellbeing or her needs, at any time in her life. Always, she put other people & their needs ahead of her own. Does this sound familiar to lớn you too?

As women, and especially as mothers, this may be quite common và you might be nodding in agreement with my client. Yet being a martyr does not help us lớn be the best parent or person we can be.

As a result of not keeping up with her self-care, my client was feeling rundown và exhausted.

She was at empty. There was nothing left to give và she was overwhelmed by the smallest request. Yet of course, because she is a heart-centred, caring và wonderful person, she would continue to give more to lớn others whilst continuing lớn neglect her own needs.

The consequences were not good. She was feeling overwhelmed & worn out. Stress và anxiety were taking their toll on her health, & she was no longer turning up as the wife, mother and daughter she wanted khổng lồ be.

My client had let her self-care get to lớn a non-existent level. She had no time or energy left lớn care for herself. Thus, she had lớn play catch up.

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Filling your tank from empty is a lot harder than topping up the tank as you go.

None of us want khổng lồ get lớn a place where our health is suffering as a result of not keeping up with something we know we need.

This is why it’s so important we keep up with key routines such as self-care, rather than trying khổng lồ play catch up.

Keep up, not catch up - other examples

The same logic can apply for many other things in life. Whether it be at work, at home or in other personal relationships, it is often easier to lớn have a regular routine or system, than to wait until we desperately need to bởi vì something. Below are some examples of where keeping up is far preferable than catching up.

Goals (professional or personal)

It is far easier to work a little bit each week towards & on our goals. By breaking down our goal into smaller actions or tasks, we are more likely to complete the actions and make progress. The alternative is lớn realise at the last minute that we have not undertaken what was required khổng lồ achieve it, và then nearly kill ourselves trying to lớn get it done. This is certainly not ideal for our wellbeing or bao tay levels!


We know the benefits of regular, daily exercise. Moving our bodies and keeping healthy is definitely an area of our life where keeping up is wise và has huge benefits in terms of overall health, longevity and wellbeing.



Similarly in our careers, consistent, predictable và regular good performance far out weigh a last ditch effort. Indeed, as an HR professional I encouraged my business leaders to always look at the consistent performance of their team members, not those who deliver only when pushed. Most workplaces also tend to recognise và reward consistent strong performers, not those who are sporadic.


Finally, we all know the benefits of regular catch-ups with friends. Whilst some friendships stand the demo of time including infrequent contact, most of us feel more connected with regular tương tác with our friends. Scientific research supports this too - regular contact with those we care about and love has been proven as one of the keys lớn longevity and lasting well-being.

And so, I find myself musing about how often in our life, keeping up is a better option than catching up. Whether it is keeping up with our self-care, or simply about better time management và the benefits of regular exercise and routines. In each case, keeping up seems to be lớn a far better approach than catching up.

A valuable reminder of a key life lesson; keeping up is indeed better than catching up.


If you are finding keeping up hard and often feel like you are trying to catch up, I’d love lớn help. One of the benefits of working with a Career and Life Coach (me!) is to lớn have someone hold you accountable to vày the things you deeply desire to bởi - so you are keeping up & getting ahead, & no longer catching up. Book your complimentary consult today to learn more.

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