Doing More by Doing Less

A Self-Help Guide for the Avid Multitaskers Who Seem to Always be Catching Up on Life

Ceylan Ersoy
Published in
5 min readOct 25, 2022


For the past couple of Sunday afternoons, I have been consecutively finding myself feeling as if the weekend passed by on a whim and I haven’t found a moment of rest. What’s more, the way I was approaching my weekend plans was feeling a little too much like I was checking items off a checklist. Brunch plans with friends? What’s going to come after? What am I having for dinner again? Where were we going out? Wait, did I work out today?

Always Playing Catch Up

Being an avid Sagittarius, I LOVE plans… so much so that I have the next four weeks of my life filled with a bazillion activities already. A day with no plans may be some people’s heaven, but definitely not mine. That is why moving to New York was a dream come true for an excessive extrovert like me. Plans on the daily, Monday to Sunday, morning to night, simply waiting to happen. The work-hard, play-hard mentally is just what I need… or so I thought.

A couple of months into my life in New York I found that different portions of my life were starting to merge in a way that I didn’t anticipate. Work mode was a constant and the stakes were so high that I found myself talking about work outside of work constantly. It came to a point where the first conversation I was having with a friend whom I hadn’t seen in months was asking him if he could connect me with their marketing team for a potential sales pitch for my company.

My schedule for both work and social life became so packed that every single interaction became a checklist event to be marked off the calendar. Even the brunch with friends I was mentioning before started feeling like a morning meeting desperately running over. I found myself not feeling present, always thinking about the next item on the calendar, and truly lost in the rush. What that also does is severely limit your enjoyment and satisfaction of things you would naturally love doing. Friendly interactions start seeming pointless if they are not yielding specific returns. Workouts you typically love start being exclusively results-oriented. Meal preps you typically look forward to becoming a rushed inconvenience in between meetings, probably leaving you with a severely unappetizing dish.

Do you feel like you’ve experienced similar things as well? I hate to be the one to break it to you, but it’s time to hit pause and the only one who has the remote is you. Life is gonna continue with its fast flow regardless, but you can start taking ownership of the direction you will be swayed and start enjoying the flow. So without further ado, here are a couple of tricks that I’ve found successful when all these red flags hit me like a wake-up call.

3 Tips to Take Control of the Flow of Life

  1. Say “No”. This may very well be the biggest challenge in my life. Not everyone is blessed with the ability to say “No”, especially not me. I usually tie this phenomenon to my continuous state of feeling FOMO; any experience I’m not a part of feels like a memory that I’m missing out on. But when you say yes to everything, then you don’t enjoy anything. Most of the time you end up just saying yes for the sake of saying yes. So just don’t. Are you feeling tired on a Friday night? No, you don’t have to go out. Just going out of fear of missing out can even result in you falling asleep on a couch in the nightclub. (And, yes this did happen to me) Your night could be as productively spent staying in and finishing the book you’ve been putting off for a while, trying a new cake recipe, or doing some sleeping meditation… You name it.
  2. Make a list of things you want to prioritize in the coming weeks. When life is flowing at its usual speed, it’s easy to lose track of what you want to focus your time and attention on. Before you know it, things you would actually like to prioritize are falling lower and lower in your priority list without you recognizing them. Create a list for yourself and the next time you are making plans, keep this list in mind. For example, I noticed that I was spending too many nights going out with the same group of people, but I wasn’t necessarily spending quality time with them and getting to know them better. So, I started changing up our night plans with them, transforming the plans into dinner parties at my house, girls’ nights, or even a House of the Dragon watch party.
  3. Do it together. My roommate was a key person who made me notice that I was getting a little too caught up in my checklist life. Talking to her about these feelings really encouraged me to get started on implementing change. Sometimes it takes listening to someone else’s perspective to realize certain things about yourself that you tend to miss or actively avoid realizing. So, discuss this with your friends, or even better, invite them to join you on this journey. My roommate joined me in creating a priority list and we jotted down our mutual personal ambitions to find commonalities. For example, we both had been saying we wanted to get back into practicing foreign languages. So we downloaded Duolingo together and are encouraging each other to commit 15 minutes every day to complete a new lesson. The proof is on the streak! It’s also helpful to seek out the help of technology to remind you of your priorities every once in a while. For this purpose, I’ve found Insumo to be super helpful, sending me reminders for the habits I’ve decided to make a priority, in the times that I’ve allocated.

The bottom line is, if you’re constantly feeling like you’re playing catch up, it’s possible to regain control of your life. But, it will take a conscious effort to say no, refocus your attention, and seek out support. While this may sound challenging at first, it will start coming naturally to you once you get started. Before you know it, you will you are regaining your capacity to be in the moment and enjoy every glimpse.



Ceylan Ersoy
Writer for

I am an alumnus of UC Berkeley with a BA in Psychology and minors in Human Rights and Theater. I specialize in the creation of news content.