You Can’t Do It All

I’ve been struggling with this a lot today. I slept in this morning, after starting a new video game (ESO) and staying up a bit too late with the excitement. Once I got up, I ate breakfast, picked up around the house, switched the laundry over, that sort of thing. Then, took Shadow for our daily walk. Showered. Made lunch. Played more ESO until it was time to get ready for work. Got ready for work. Went to work.

Once I got to work, I had some scanning I needed to get done, so that was on the list. But its the summer, so we really aren’t that busy. I’m very lucky to have a job that allows me to write or read while I’m working my shift. So, after finishing scanning, I was left with the decision of what to do next. Do I read the book I finally started from the library? Do I write my own? Do I write a blog post? Do I beta read a friend’s new story? Do I waste time on social media, since I only check it now at work (ha, how ironic)? Do I watch the Royals take on the Mets? Do I watch the Men’s National Team try to survive Argentina in the Copa América semi-final?

This cycle of decisions don’t stop once my shift ends. When I get home, do I play more ESO or do I read a book and go to bed early? Tomorrow, do I try to get up early so I don’t waste so much of my day or do I let myself sleep in? If I get up early, there is a better chance I will have more time to write or beta read. If I don’t, that means I get to play more ESO tonight. Then, I have an interview tomorrow afternoon I need to prep for. Plus, dog has to go on a walk. And laundry. And I need to call my bank about a withdraw. And need to go by the DMV at some point to register my license. And I need to call apartments to schedule appointments. And everything that I listed above–the reading, the writing, the editing, the blogging, the gaming–I want to do all of that every day.

But how do you find the time?

It’s one of those days when I’m so overwhelmed by everything I want to do and limited by the time I have to do it in. Plus, having to factor in everything I have to do…Thinking about it all, I’m left in a rut where I contemplate so much about what I want to do and wish-wash back and forth that I end up doing nothing, wasting hours that I could have spent doing something; anything. But not nothing.

The harsh truth is that you can’t do it all. I would love to say that I’m going to get up at 8am every day after going to bed at midnight each evening. I would love to know that I’m going to get chores done before 10, walking and showering done before noon, and then have four glorious hours to do whatever I choose before commuting for an hour before work. Then, at work, I’d love to be know that I’m going to accomplish everything I have to do for my job and everything I want to do, as well, all in one shift. Only to go home and read a few chapters with a glass of milk and cookies, and make my newly-established midnight bedtime.

But I know myself and I know the world. And that simply isn’t how it works.

There are plenty of ways in which I can make more time for myself and that is something I hope to work on. But, at the same time, I have to accept that I won’t be able to do everything that I want to do in a day, every day. There will be days when I don’t read; days when I write nothing; times when I don’t touch the PS4 controller. And that happens because I chose to do something else. Whether that was write for four hours when I only planned for one or apartment hunt when I’d rather be reading…that’s life. And it’s okay to not do everything you need and want to do. Even now, I’m rushing to finish this blog post before I have to clock out in five minutes. Because at the moment, that’s what’s happening. But I’m doing something. And that’s what matters.

Tomorrow, I hope to remember to switch my mindset from stressing about the time I don’t have to fully appreciating the time I do. Because at the end of the day, that’s all you can do.

Cheers.

PS: Sorry for the typos I’m sure are here. Didn’t have time to edit! 😛

 

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About Nicole Evans

Nicole Evans is a writer of fantasy and science fiction. She is currently unpublished and is working fervently to get the “un” removed from that statement. She has five completed manuscripts: a trilogy about destined heroes that fail anyway, a science fiction standalone that pits the natural desire to love against the natural instinct to kill during the extinction of the human race and a new series about a writer who can't get published and gets the chance to live a life that all writers dream. She also has two scripts done. Currently, she is about to start writing the second of a nine book series while planning two more. (If you can tell, she really likes this whole writing thing.) Considering she has run out of space for putting rejections letters up on her wall, Nicole now uses her spare time doing the typical things that nerds do: blogging, dying repeatedly during video games (which she believes is retribution for the characters’ she’s killed), wishing she was the character she is currently reading about and trying to fight off the real world by living in her own head, with varying degrees of success. Nicole has a degree in Creative Writing and a minor in Film and Media Studies, and works part-time as a supervisor in a library at the University of Kansas. View all posts by Nicole Evans

8 responses to “You Can’t Do It All

  • jml297

    It can be hard at times, but accepting that you only have so much time available on any given day and being reasonable about what you can actually get done takes away a whole lot of noise and pressure. Some days the best laid plans need to go out the window, but being a bit kinder to yourself about what you can get done – and the accompanying sense of accomplishment when you get those things done – make it a bit easier. Good luck and I wish you better days ahead.

  • Joyce C

    Omg, I was just talking about this topic the day before, and two weeks ago!
    https://thewritesofpassage.wordpress.com/2016/06/20/on-working-and-over-working/
    https://thewritesofpassage.wordpress.com/2016/05/30/how-wanting-makes-us-want-more/
    I completely agree. I think especially for us in our twenties, we always feel that we want to do it all, have it all, because we’re just starting out and the world is right at our fingertips, so why aren’t we going for it already? And for those with a day job, the time for writing is in even shorter supply.
    But, like you said, we can’t do it all. We can only prioritise the things we really want and need to do and hope that can take us closer to what we want to achieve. Hope everything’s good on the writing front for you! 🙂

    • inkstaind13

      *rushes off to read posts*
      I’m so bummed that WordPress doesn’t always show updated posts from all the bloggers you follow. I miss posts (like yours) all the time that I wanted to read!
      Yes! I think the age thing is totally spot on. And I love what you said in that last bit. That entire final paragraph was so spot on.
      Hope all is grand on the writing front of you, as well! Still excited to read your books one day. 🙂

      • Joyce C

        Actually, you can just scroll down to the part after my bio and click on the blue button that reads “Follow the writes of passage” 😉

      • inkstaind13

        Oh, I am following it! The sad part is, in my reader, since I’m following so many blogs, not all of the updates always show up, when I new post is posted. :/ Another friend who uses WordPress has this same problem, too, so that’s how I miss posts!

  • S. Meadows

    That is too familiar! When there are too many options and none are *vital* I get caught in indecision waste time and end up doing none of it. When it’s decisions like, do I make a real dinner and not have time to write or read, or do I eat this piece of pizza from last week and have some time to write, it’s tough–I love real food, haha.

    The best advice I’ve seen is from entrepreneurs. Make a schedule (and stick to it) and set clear goals for yourself. Easier said than done, lol. Hope things have been less hectic lately!

    • inkstaind13

      Gosh, I didn’t even bring dinner into it, but it’s always that battle. Every single day (and that piece of pizza or microwave meal usually wins). It’s nice to know that other people deal with this and I really need to use your schedule idea. I love making schedules and I think if I made a schedule, I might be more productive!!

  • Relying on Unreliable Time | Thoughts Stained With Ink

    […] bit ago, I wrote a post about how frustrated I was with the fact that I never seemed to get done anything that I […]

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