Life

All of the things

all of the things

I have a problem. I keep trying to do all of the things. My brain currently feels like there are a million tabs open and all I’m doing is clicking one tab after the next. I spend some time on one page, then realise I need to be doing something about the other and the next and the next and the next. I want to do all of the things. But in the end, I think I get nothing done. Or getting things done in a half-arsed manner.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like I’m not doing anything. I did submit a short story for a competition on the weekend. And I’m currently working on another one. But I notice how in between these, I feel like I need to be doing things for work {developing the new role, figuring out some presentations as part of private practice, figuring out future private practice goals}, for my fitness {personal training, yoga, running goals, strength goals, meal prepping}, for my writing projects {a memoir/nonfiction idea, personal essays, short story competitions, poetry competitions, my blog, a psychology program that requires writing}, for my reading goals {because, books, but also articles to challenge and broaden my mind}, for life admin {cleaning the house, decluttering, groceries, cooking}, and for my social life {keep connecting with friends, reaching out to people, making plans to meet up, checking in on friends}.

Even as I type this, I feel overwhelmed. What the fuck have I done?

It hit me on Saturday. I didn’t feel like going to the gym and was on the couch with my coffee and a book. And I felt this incredible sense of guilt. Like I wasn’t being ‘productive.’ Like I had to be doing something more than reading on a sunny morning. Because I’m meant to exercise in the mornings. Or be out of the house doing something especially when it’s sunny. Even if that something is at the beach with a book.

What happened to me? I never used to be a person always on the go. I used to be pretty comfortable pottering around the house, blogging, reading, watching DVDs {there was no Netflix back then} but now, I do those plus a whole lot more and somewhere deep down, I feel like I am wasting time if I’m not doing those things.

In the past six months or so, I have been pondering on meaning and purpose and while I don’t have all the answers, I did figure out a few things I’d like to do to add meaning and live with purpose. Almost all the things I have mentioned definitely add to that. But I do wonder if as a result, I have this mindset that I’m going to die tomorrow and therefore I need to be doing all of the things now. The reality, of course, is I don’t know when I’ll die. More importantly, there will be a lot of unfinished business regardless of if I die tomorrow or if I die in twenty, thirty or fifty years from now. Because we will never do everything in life that we want to do. So why then this urge to do everything?

Deb wrote a couple of posts in the last two weeks on overwhelm and decision-making and regrets. As I felt this sense of overwhelm, I remembered her posts and went back for a re-read. I also read Mark Manson’s post she’d referenced. Interestingly, I also happened to read an article referenced by Shailaja and Shinjini about going deeper rather than wider. It made me realise that in wanting to do all of the things, I’m not really trying to do anything well. And while my intentions of wanting to make a difference and live courageously are all well and good, it’s not going to happen if I stretch myself too thinly. Interestingly, my third intention for the year was about paying attention. Apart from the first week, I don’t think I did that. Until now.

I have paid attention to my emotions. To my feelings of being overwhelmed. To my thoughts around wanting to do all of the things right now. And I think I realise I need to step back a bit.

By that, it means getting clarity on why I want to do the things I want to do and to make short-term goals as opposed to trying to do it all at once. I know I need to do the thing that helps me get clarity – write it out. Thanks to Deb, I found out about Mark Manson’s posts on making better life-decisions and about the potential regrets of doing it versus not doing it. That way, I can set things to do now, and leave some others for later. I am also hoping to somehow incorporate the process of going deeper than wider while making these short-term goals.

So if I die tomorrow, or in the next year or in the next ten, twenty, thirty or fifty years, there will still be things I’ve not done but hopefully, the regrets of not doing them and the costs will be a lot less.

It might not be possible to do all of the things. But maybe, it will be possible to do the most important things well.

Do you have the problem of wanting to do all of the things because of several passions? 

How do you deal with it?

Do share!

***Linking with Deb, Min, Leanne and Jo for the Lovin’ Life Linky***

Featured image by bruce mars from Pexels

Until next time,

 

 

 

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  • Vanessa
    29 January 2019 at 8:09 am

    Well you know I have this problem!! When I work with my shiny coaching clients we inevitably have to break everything down because we can only do one think at a time, so for me it’s partially about accepting longer timelines for everything when you want to do multiple things but also giving yourself permission/a break when you do need to flit to an idea & spend 10 mins brainstorming a new thing.
    Vanessa recently posted…Three Easy Ways To Repurpose Blog ContentMy Profile

    • Sanch @ Sanch Writes
      29 January 2019 at 10:22 am

      Ooh I like the idea of permission to brainstorm if something comes up. I really need to write my stuff up and have a whiteboard of sorts so everything is there and visual as opposed to in my head and a variety of notebooks I think

  • Ness
    29 January 2019 at 4:31 pm

    Man I’m in awe of how you do all of those things. You’re amazing! I never feel like I do enough. Cause study, a volunteer role, three kids, a husband, a home is practically a vacation, right?!

  • Shilpa Gupte
    29 January 2019 at 6:48 pm

    Slow down, my darling!
    This is something I decided to do last year… To live in the moment, to give my best to whatever I do in that moment and that’s it. This helps me concentrate on that one activity that I do and do it perfectly… do it such a way, that I am satisfied and happy with the result. Of course, we can’t do all the hundreds of things we wish to pack in a day, but we can definitely do one thing a hundred percent perfectly if we focus on just that one thing. It makes me feel a lot more peaceful too!
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  • Obsessivemom
    29 January 2019 at 9:08 pm

    When you spoke about the feeling of guilt as you sat down with a cup of coffee and a book, it could have been me. Being a mom and a WFH person there never is a time when all the work is done – there always are things to be cleaned, clothes to be put away, articles to be edited, mail to be replied to. I often end up feeling overwhelmed.
    I often set up time blocks. As in if I work for two (or three or four hours) I win myself an hour’s respite to do whatever I please. Work is unending, we have to squeeze in moments of relaxation.
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  • Rachna
    30 January 2019 at 2:56 pm

    I also feel that I pack in a lot of things on a regular basis in my day. What helps is making a list in the evening for the tasks to be done the next day in order of priority. Not that I get to do everything in the list not out calms my mind. If I can’t do something, I push it forward to the next day, no judgment, no guilt. I also build in a few hours for relaxation every week in my schedule. This has personally helped me deal with overwhelm. If still I feel dejected, I call someone close who will give me a pep talk. Nothing earth shattering will happen if we slacken off sometimes.
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  • Rajlakshmi
    30 January 2019 at 7:13 pm

    I hear you! I have been going through the same emotions as I feel like I never get anything done even after doing a lot. My to-do list keeps increasing even after crossing items. Need to find some space in my head before I start something new again. I like Shinjini’s post on depth too. Thinking of implementing it this year.
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  • Joanne Tracey
    31 January 2019 at 9:32 am

    Oh, I hear you! The pressure of trying to do so much and knowing that there’s some stuff that’s not being done as well as it can be, or not finished or ….well, I don’t need to tell you about it – you get it. Last weekend I was wrecked – and we’re only 3 weeks in. I knew that I was scheduled to do a long walk, that we had people for dinner and I had writing to catch up on because I’d had to work on my usual writing days. Instead, I did faff all – except the friends for dinner thing…I did that. And I felt guilty…but my body felt better for it – as did my brain.
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  • Vinitha
    31 January 2019 at 3:16 pm

    I hear you, Sanch! This was what caused all the problems for me. I wanted to do many things, all at once and left with a feeling of wasting time when I took a break even to catch my breath. What helped me was, I wrote down everything I wanted to do and picked just two from the list for the time being. I decided I need to slow down and that I deserve some down time too. Conscious effort to slow down and just enjoy the task at hand. And I take deep breaths whenever I get that closing in feeling. It is helping me. But the first step was sitting down with me and having a heart to heart talk. Do I sound crazy? 😀
    But you are doing so so much. You should take it easy. It’s okay to enjoy a cuppa. <3
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  • Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit
    31 January 2019 at 5:57 pm

    I soooooo relate to that whole “a million tabs open” thing. That’s who I’ve always been. Right now though I’m the opposite. All my tabs are shut. I need to find a way to get wi-fi again and start finishing the gazillion projects I started months ago but which went by the wayside due to personal events. Sigh. Next week …
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    • Sanch @ Sanch Writes
      31 January 2019 at 8:05 pm

      Completely understand Leanne; it would be hard to get things going at the moment and I think it’s important to be kind to yourself and give yourself the time. Sending you love and hugs xx

  • Denyse
    31 January 2019 at 8:08 pm

    Yes I get this. I was like this in my “better after cancer days” of most of last year. I started to feel like a busy principal again..hey?! So, this year I eased back and gave my almost 70 year old self permission to take her time and do more for herself. I know as the year goes it might be busier but I recognise what you say and we need to brainstorm for you (I am joking!) …I meant have a catch up. Overwhelm is the worst when we are the cause!
    Denyse x
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  • Parul Thakur
    1 February 2019 at 12:36 am

    I hear you. I don’t get overwhelmed but there are days I don’t know why I am not doing what I want to do. So yes, its confusing and I start thinking about meaning and purpose like you. As I was reading I did feel like you read my mind too.
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  • Min @ Write of the Middle
    1 February 2019 at 12:41 pm

    Yes I sure DO have the problem of trying to do too much (exercise goals, house goals, blog goals, photography goals, keeping up with friends & family, + more!), then getting overwhelmed to the point where I achieve very little (well at least in my mind!). I rely heavily on lists and if I can at least tick some things off my lists/s each day then I get a sense of achievement and having been a bit productive. Like you, I feel this need to be productive all the time. I find it hard to give myself permission to relax/lounge around/read/watch netflix etc. If away on a beach holiday I’m ok with it but at other times, not so much! I know I need to ease up on myself a bit too! 🙂 #TeamLovinLife

  • January 2019 Reflections - Sanch Writes
    2 February 2019 at 9:08 am

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