Stop wanting more!
How not to screw up your life chasing “better yourself”
I want to do everything. Want to travel like crazy, make videos and sell photos on stocks, want to learn new stuff at coursera and read tonnes of books, want to bake cakes and spend time with people I love, want to be fit and win dance contests, want to practice yoga and surf big waves, want to write and share my thoughts.
Obviously, I don’t have time for everything. My to-do list is enormous and gets bigger with each day. I scold myself and get frustrated every time I look through it.
I used to believe that the more I do the more energy I have for further doing. But it turned out to be only half-true. At some point, after rushing for several days or weeks of super-productivity, I fall down and sleep for three days (figuratively).
So I started to think if there is any way out of this. This is what I’m doing now
Deleting tasks and throwing lists away
Having a list is good, they said, it helps you to concentrate. People who told it, did not know me. I will never be short of ideas since my to-do/dream list is giant. It contains things I want to try one day, people I want to invite for a coffee, writing plans and even routine tasks like taking vitamins.
Maybe this is the issue of time management, but if I do everything from my current to-do list, I will never have time to write anything else there.
I need more space.
So every evening I create a list for tomorrow. And every morning I delete half of the tasks by asking myself if it is really what I want to do.
I do the same with long-term goals every week. And from time to time I switch to another task tracking application and delete the previous one. Or change a paper notebook. Only dreams I remember are worth to be included into the new list.
The idea is sometimes to say no to ideas. Some of them just need to be thought about and forgotten, not implemented.
Writing Have-Done lists.
They are usually in smaller letters than my to-do lists, but while being shy I try to mention everything I’ve done during the day. The idea is to notice whatever happened to me and whatever I felt. By this, I understand that life does not just pass by in vain. Every day I try new things and change myself a bit. So I am one step closer to stop blaming myself in living lazy and empty life.
You can obviously write a diary in a creative way, not just a list. But do it every day.
Just stop it. If something feels too much now, I need to have a 10-minute break or a rest day. And by rest I mean allowing my mind not to be busy.
Meditation is the most obvious answer and still the fullest. No need to go to a Buddhist temple, one minute is enough for the first time. You can do about seven breathes in and out during one minute. Not too much. So close your eyes and breath seven times. Feels better, doesn’t it?
Enjoying the process
Big complicated goals and lifetime dreams can’t be achieved in a minute. They may take years, and if the goal is chosen right, that would be very happy years.
For example, I love being read. But the idea is to enjoy every second of creating something worth reading. Same about everything.
Do not wait for a task being completed to make you happy.
It’s okay to be happy
There is no happiness in tomorrow if you are not content now. I thought, I would be happy if I find a good job, loose 5 kilos, win a contest. I did it, it felt awesome. But just for some time. I used to believe that another milestone goal would definitely make me happy, but before that — I need to struggle. That’s pretty stupid. But I know many people do the same.
Now I realise that I could be fine right now without waiting or fighting for more. Even without waiting for other people’s approval. And moreover, without judging myself. I just need notice good things around.
Let’s want less.
But less does not mean nothing.
It does not mean that we have to stop developing. On the contrary, we’ll have more time and resources for becoming better self if we get rid of things and tasks we do not really need.