Stop Trying To Do It All

I’ve come across a lot of workaholics in my life. People who are busy 24/7, with work, assignments, travels, meetings and projects of all sorts. People who no longer have a second to themselves or for their families; people who are rarely seen by anyone because they are locked up somewhere being occupied by one thing or the other.

Being busy can be a good thing. I personally like to keep myself busy because I’d much rather be engaged in something meaningful than stay idle and while away precious time. Being busy can also be a bad thing, but that’s only when your ‘business’ does not give you the chance to have a life.

I agree to the fact that ‘going to school these days isn’t about learning anymore, it’s about passing’. This concept has driven many students to go out of their way to perform extraordinarily well; and that translates to them being busy. Busy studying, busy working, busy creating, busy thinking, busy asking, busy writing, and busy practicing. Everyone’s trying to do everything, to make sure the grades stay high and to make sure they are the best. We try to squeeze in classes, homework, projects, studying, some more studying, dinner, naps, family time, a social life and a good night’s sleep all in the span of 24 hours. With this kind of lifestyle, it is very easy to get worked up and overwhelmed.

There must be some sort of demand for those in the workforce too. You have to respond to every email, pick up every call, impress the boss, create time for your partner and kids, be the most responsible worker and try to get an upgrade like everyone else in the office. People often say, “the more you work, the better you’d become”, but the truth of the matter is, too much ‘work’ will eventually wear you out. You can never perform as well as you should when you are overworked.

Sometimes we feel as though we are obliged to attend to everyone and everything, and this is the perception that prompts us to try to do it all. You must understand that not everything requires your time. You don’t have to do everything. Choose what is worth your time, and choose what to ignore. Focus what’s important and what truly needs your attention.

In other words, you need to prioritize. There isn’t enough time in the day, nor do we have the cognitive resources to devote to everything. It is often difficult to accomplish everything you want to accomplish in one day, and so you need to have priorities. Is facetiming your crush more important than studying for the next day’s test? Is spending time with your family more important than playing video games? Like I said before, don’t try to squeeze in classes, homework, projects, studying, extra studying, dinner, naps, family time, a social life and a good night’s sleep all in the span of 24 hours. Pick out the things that are more important at the time, and try your best to achieve them, and whatever does not make the cut can be saved for next time. Don’t try to do everything because you won’t do any of them to satisfaction. Always remember that some things are more relevant than the others.

Secondly, you need to create a balance by allocating adequate time for everything. There is a time to work, and there is a time to play too. Find which study pattern works best for you and stick to it. Do you gain more at night? Or do you prefer working in the day? Create a suitable schedule of how you want your day to go. Don’t think that allocating 2 hours for sleep everyday is an ideal plan towards getting straight A’s; you might be fooling yourself. Let your timing be reasonable. Take time out to play and rest too. Sleep, hang out with your friends or watch a movie. Dedicate a little bit of time everyday to rejuvenate your mind and relax your nerves. It doesn’t matter whether you have an exam the next day; you still need some sort of rest. You are not a robot and you were not created to work tirelessly.

Life is only demanding when you try to meet every need, and satisfy every desire. If you are trying to do it all, remember that you may not do anything to perfection, and if you are constantly focused on only one thing, remember that many other things may be lacking; such as your spiritual life, your mental health and your relationship with others. Prioritize and place first things first, then create a balance between each of them. Life is so much easier that way.

You need to prioritize. If you can’t get to everything or do everything, that’s okay – Julie Chen


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