Too much on your plate?

Yes, I know we all over indulge sometimes, but the plate I am talking about is your life. Do you have too much going on? I am one of those people who like to do a lot of things constantly. My interests are so varied and I often struggle to say no. No to other people yes,  but mostly to myself. Each one of those times where I have had too much going on for too long, I get stressed, or apathetic, or burnt out. Suddenly things I love doing become chores. How do we prevent this from happening? Perhaps by taking some things off our plate.

If you are like me, you got into it because you like it. How do you choose between them then? I think we need to stick to basics here:

  • What is a necessity?
  • What are your goals and plans for the future?
  • What can be postponed?

For me, necessities are my job, and my health- both physically and psychologically. I need money to live, and eat and have a roof over my head. I need to exercise and make sure I eat well. I need time for myself as well as my family and friends. But it is important here, that we also learn to say no to things. No if we can’t do something, no if we really don’t want to, no if it is harmful to us.

Saying no for me can be quite hard when it comes to friends, family and colleagues. I find it easier to say no to family and really good friends because they understand me. But new friends and colleagues? That is really tough for me. In my mind, thoughts run through my head like what if they don’t like me, or think I am lazy or selfish if I say no. Do you feel that way when people say no? If its for a good reason or even just a logical one, of course not. So why would you think that about others? I am really not sure what the answer is to that, but I have tried saying no, and people have not shunned me. Its okay to say no sometimes! It takes some convincing, believe me, I know. I think sometimes we also need to see where our priorities lie. If you have promised your kids or your spouse per say, that you were going to go to the park, or have that date, or whatever, shouldn’t that come first unless you really can’t say no to the other obligation that came up? What is more important to you? Easier said than done, but necessary.

Plans and goals can help us determine what it is that we should be doing. If you are saving up to go on a trip, then that second part time job is probably the right thing to be doing. But if you are going out partying too often or too hard, or going on unnecessary shopping trips, and you are struggling to do your full time job or studies, and barely have time for the second one to keep the money coming, maybe you need to rather be curbing the partying or those shopping sprees. Obviously we all need to live a little, but having a drink or two less means more money in your pocket that could be saved up, and yes, not buying that 30th pair of gorgeous pumps, that helps too 😉 Same with your studies, if you are taking an extra module or a course on the side, is that taking you towards your goal? If you are taking a part time marketing course and a course in English, when you would rather be teaching English in China in the next 6 months, is the marketing course really that important at the time? Could it not perhaps be postponed?

Which brings me to postponing some things. Nope, I am not advocating procrastination here. Sometimes we want to do too much at once. We want to improve our computer skills, do ballet classes, do our jobs or studies, hang out with friends, relax, serve at the carnival that may be running for a month, etc. Sometimes we put too much on our plates at one time. If the computer skills course is a course you can do at your leisure and the timing is flexible, why not rather start it when the carnival is over? Or start those ballet classes in another few months when the new classes start again? These are all just random examples, but I am sure they can be applied to many different situations, to any of our diverse lives. There is the saying, tomorrow is another day. If you can’t handle all that is on your plate, but you still want to do each one of those things, but something can be postponed and done or started at a future date, why not do that, and be able to enjoy what you do have on your plate right now, instead of burning out, and perhaps not enjoying anything on your plate at all?

Strive to work hard and enjoy everyday, but listen to your body, you will know what you can and cannot handle 🙂 Its good to challenge ourselves, but bulldozing ourselves is a bit much 😉

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