I have always been busy. In high school, my list of extracurriculars was bordering on excessive and even now, I find that I have a never-ending list of commitments and to-dos. “And” is in my DNA: I’m taking five class and I’m working at an internship and I sit on the executive board of my club and I have a social life. More often than not, I’m mildly stressed out. So, why do I always say yes to opportunities when I already have a list of things to do ten miles long? Maybe it’s FOMO, but I think my eagerness to take on more is greater than just a fear of not being in the know.
Why I Always Say Yes
I say yes to almost all of the opportunities that come my way because they are just that: opportunities. If I have the chance to learn something new or grow my experience in my field, I lose more than I gain by passing on the opportunity. Sure, it can be overwhelming when my to-do list exceeds the limits of a single page. But what is even more anxiety-inducing is knowing that I had the chance to improve myself and I said no.
I wasn’t kidding about the list of things I’m currently doing. I really am taking too many classes while also working part time and remaining extremely involved in my sorority and (occasionally) enjoying a social life. I’m also, admittedly, probably not getting enough sleep. But I’m willing to sacrifice a few hours of sleep if it means I am constantly doing something to better myself.
I have learned so many incredible things from the experiences I’ve taken on. Working for a social enterprise, a restaurant, and in my sorority has taught me invaluable skills beyond time management and organization. Even more recently, I’ve loved taking business and marketing classes this quarter and being able to read a ton of classic literature for the class I added to my schedule last minute. I’ve even been convinced to go out and have fun on occasion! Sure, I’ve been a little sleepier than normal, but I wouldn’t change a thing about the opportunities I’ve taken on in the past year.
How I Keep From Going Crazy
While I have had a lot of great experiences, it can become overwhelming. Clearly, sleep is not something I say yes to as often as I would ideally like. So how do I keep from going crazy when I’m running on fumes? The answer is really simple: not to toot my own horn, but I am really good at organizing and prioritizing.
A dry erase calendar hangs on my wall that gets updated every day. I have a bullet journal with daily schedules planned out weeks in advance. My calendar sends at least two notifications to my phone and laptop before every due date, meeting, social event and exam. A four-calendar system might sound excessive, but when I’m doing so much, I have to stay on top of my sh*t.
In addition to actually writing things down, I prioritize my responsibilities. My list of priorities usually goes something like this:
- Mental health
- Social life
These items hold the most importance in my life right now and while each hold equal importance, that order helps me decide what tasks need to get done first. But with prioritizing also comes deciding what has to take a backseat to my top priorities.
On The Past Three Months…
In case you hadn’t noticed, the thing that has taken the lowest priority recently has been this blog ☹. This site is my space to talk about the things I love and vent about the things I don’t; believe me when I say I have hated not being able to write for the past three months. But while I’ve missed writing, I don’t regret a thing. I have grown so much through my experiences and if I had to go back, I would say yes to the opportunities I’ve been given every single time.
I’m hoping that, as this quarter starts to wind down and I start my journalism residency in the spring, I’ll have more time to get back to writing. And, of course, I plan to use what I’ve learned from my recent experiences to improve what I do in this space. So keep an eye out for more frequent content in the very near future! Feel free to drop me a line if there’s something you want to see featured on the blog and I can’t wait to talk soon.