“I don’t have time.”
I seem to mutter this to myself on a daily basis. I’m not talking about the millennial motto of ‘I’m just so busy’ (That’s a post for another day), but rather having so many interests and goals on the regular that you just don’t know how to fit them all in.
One part of my personality that I love is how driven I am. I’m motivated and I work hard but I also hold myself to a really high standard that isn’t always achievable. My daily to do list doesn’t just have tasks but also a daily habit tracker to make sure that I practice keyboard, ukulele and guitar, read, write, exercise, practice yoga and journal every day. On top of uni work and blogging it can all get a little overwhelming. Add in all the future projects that I want to plan for, and the 5 year plan that I’m trying very hard not to stick quite to rigidly too (yes, people do actually have these), I feel like life is currently a tick box exercise of to-do lists.
I am a person who very much wants to do everything that I ever contemplate doing in my mind. And it turns out that you can’t actually do everything because that’s not sustainable and you become exhausted, over-reliant and coffee and don’t sleep.
So here are a few ways you can feel like you’re doing everything and also get some very much needed me-time too.
Cut your list down
Chances are your massive list is just too long. At one point my daily to-do list included 15 habits I wanted to keep up with. It was just too much so I cut the list down by half and now it’s way more manageable. I wrote about using a habit tracker here so you can see what my list looks like now.
Change your ‘Ands’ to ‘Ors’
One big problem I had with having lots of things to do on my list was that I just didn’t want to do each of them every day. Instead of feeling like I needed to practice guitar, keyboard and ukulele each day, I just felt overwhelmed. Now I try to do one these a day: guitar OR keyboard OR ukulele. All is just far too much.
Schedule your relaxation time
If I don’t schedule time to relax, it doesn’t happen. It might seem a bit sterile having a box to tick on my to-do list that says relax but if that’s what helps to remind you then that’s fine.
Don’t feel like you’re doing something wrong
Most of my friends seem not to understand when I say that I like to come home and write or practice guitar or workout. They like to go home and relax but I’ve realised that’s just not how I’m wired and I much prefer to use my time productively. I used to think I was the weird one in this scenario, that I should want to come home and watch television and not think about anything important until the next day, but I’ve since learned that no one is the weird one here. It’s totally okay to come home and want to do a load more of productive activities just as it’s okay not to want to.
Don’t beat yourself up
Finally, and this is the one I struggle with most, don’t feel bad for not doing everything. You don’t have to productive every second of the day. Some days you’ll be able to manage more than other days. There’s no secret formula to getting everything done but organisation goes a long way.