Recently I have been really stressed by university. Although it’s semester break right now, I have so much to do. There is even more work now than in the semester itself. The semester starts in about a month and then new projects start. I couldn’t see the end of work anymore. There are many things I have to do at once and my life-work-balance was completely messed up. I knew that I couldn’t stop working and that there would always be work but I had to change my perspective of work.
In these moments I like to pick up the book “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff… and it’s all small stuff” from Richard Carlson. It basically has 100 tips to become calmer and not get stresses by little everyday matters. This is not a book review but a post inspired by the book.
He says that “so many of us live our lives as if the secret purpose is to somehow get everything done”. We postpone happiness, calmness and moments with our loved ones until our to-do-list is empty. Truth is, the list will never be empty. Once you got something done, it will be replaced by a new task. But “the nature of your ‘In Basket’ is that it’s meant to have items to be completed in it”. We always need to get something done. Whether you have a project going on, need to clean your house, need to do a phone call etc. It is completely normal to have to get things done. Whether if those are small or big uncomfortable things. “If you’re obsessed with getting everything done, you’ll never have a sense of well-being”.
There are important things to get done, but it is usually not an emergency. We make an emergency out of everything. “The purpose of life isn’t to get everything done but to enjoy each step along the way and live a life filled with love, it’s far easier to control the obsession with completing my list of things to do.” Even when you die, there will probably still be something on your list. But then, “someone else will do it for you”.
It is of major importance to find a balance between I NEED TO THIS NOW PERFECTLY and I KNOW I HAVE TO DO THIS BUT IT CAN STAY LONGER ON MY LIST. Don’t misunderstand it as procrastination, the thing is just not important now. Why reject something that makes you happy, just because you want to get something unimportant done right now? Don’t let the pressure of getting things done break you and make you unhappy.
Because you always have to get something done.
P.S.: The picture above was (again) taken in Sweden 🙂