I always want to do so much: take on every request that people email me, complete my never-ending list of errands and projects, travel everywhere, learn a ton of new skills, watch every trashy reality show, all while being be the “perfect” friend, sister, and daughter. And yet, I realize that I can’t possibly do it all. There isn’t enough time in the day, nor do I have the attention bandwidth to devote to everything. Even if I were perfectly disciplined, I couldn’t possibly get to even half of what I want to do. Even within the WILL community, a group of amazing individuals that are extremely involved on campus and actively apart of several different communities. Through weekly highs and lows it’s clear to see that many of you are overwhelmed with everything going on.
Some aggressively applying to grad schools while others are planning fundraising events for Syrian refugees all while doing a million other things. So I challenge you to give up on trying to do it all. Simplify. Don’t try to be perfect. Don’t try to have the most perfect life you can create.
Instead, make your days count.
Even though that’s a pretty vague statement, I came up with a list of ideas that I think can achieve this.
- Realize that we’re not really in control. The reality is that your day will never go as planned. You can try, but there will always be the unexpected, the unplanned. That’s just how things go. If we want to be in control, and things don’t go our way, it’s frustrating. I know I personally internalize my feelings and blame myself, when it’s not my fault. If instead we realize we’re not really in control, but just experiencing what comes at us, we can learn to appreciate that experience as it comes, whatever it may be.
- Be OK with imperfection. Even if you filter everything in you’re life you’ll never create the “perfect” life. You’ll never be “perfect.” Those ideals don’t exist in reality. This took me awhile to realize, especially with the false portrayals social media creates. In this messy life, the reality is that what we experience will never fit with an ideal, and will always be imperfect. We can either accept that, or be dissatisfied. I decided to embrace imperfection, and be OK with what I am, and the messiness that finds its way into my life.
- Pay attention. Whenever I occasionally slay in the kitchen and cook myself a bomb meal I find myself getting on my phone and scrolling through social media instead of enjoying my food. It’s an amazing meal only if you really savor it. In this way, even in life if we savor each moment, they really matter. I know, deep shit.
- Be ruthless. You need to filter out the things trying to overwhelm your life. More things try to get into your attention bandwidth than you can possibly handle. So filter them out: say no to most requests, don’t make it your job to respond to everything, don’t just read everything possible, turn off your phone for awhile. Each day, take a step back and think about what you want to fit in it.
- Be satisfied. This is my last, and in my opinion most important point I brainstormed. We always want to do more, be more, and experience more. I continued to find myself constantly comparing my skills, appearance, and achievements to others around me. But what I realized is that if I’m grateful for what’s actually in front of me, for the experiences I am given, rather than always wanting the greener grass that someone else is experiencing, I will be a much more happier person.
Saachi Neki is an Information Technology major expected to graduate in the Spring of 2018. She is a 2nd year WILLer and reminds us how not to do it all.