Have you ever found yourself bombarded with so many tasks in a day that you think ‘I’m never going to get these done’? Ever tried to do all these things you want to do at once and find more times than not it’s difficult/stressful/near about impossible?  Ever been labelled as ‘burning the candle at both ends‘ or said to be ‘always doing too much‘? You are not alone my friend, as I share your strife.

More times than not you can be overly optimistic about what you can do in a day. 24 hours seems like a long time, but when you really think about it, you’ve got to get dressed/cleaned, make breakfast, brush your teeth, clean your room from the night before and before you know it, it’s already the afternoon and you’ve got nothing to really show for it.

However, when the realisation hits you that the day is getting away from you and you haven’t even got 1 thing done that you’ve wanted to do on that day, don’t rush yourself. You know the feeling. The thought process (for me at least) goes something like this:

Oh shit. I’m never going to get finished. How on earth am I going to get all this done in time?

Maybe if I try to do little bits of all these things at once I’ll get them done!

Many hours later.

Fuck. All I’ve done so far is scroll through social media, like a load of photos, save some cat memes on my phone and made a list of new films I need to watch. I’m screwed. I still need to do A through to M before the day otherwise I’m well and truly done.

And then that feeling happens. That pressure on your chest, feeling like it could burst open. Your limbs go weak and you barely find yourself able to stand. You head is running at a million miles an hour thinking of all the things you haven’t done over the course of the day. Whirring around like a possessed drag racer, feeling helpless as you let your thoughts run riot in your head trying to start a protest to your brain of why you can’t accomplish anything in life because you can’t get a days work done, and then BAM. 

You feel numb. Your head feels hazy as if high in the clouds. You can’t focus on anything and you just feel blank. You lay down, trying to recuperate but you just can’t find it in yourself to get up. You just do nothing. Waiting for the above to subside before trying to make sense of it all.

This unfortunate series of events has happened to me a few times. I, and others like myself out there, rush too much. Rushing will never help a situation, whether you’ve got deadlines for projects or presentations due, or even day-to-day tasks needing to be addressed. Don’t rush. It’s difficult not to as you don’t want to let yourself or another for that matter down by not doing what you said you would on a given day. But trust me, it’s better than letting your mind run amuck, driving itself into the ground, because that helps no-one.

I can’t say much. I still rush things, but I’m trying to be better at controlling it. Here’s a few things I (try to) do to deter rushing:

  • Write a To-Do list – writing out what you have to do on a day makes it clear in your mind of what needs to be done.

However, make sure not to put too much on a list at once – otherwise you’ll stress about getting only some of it, rather than all of it, finished.

  • Be Realistic – when writing down what you need to do, make sure that you know within your capabilities of what you can and can’t do on a given day, whether that’s due to lectures/classes/prior commitments. If you get everything done and have time, by all means get at it, but if not then don’t stress yourself out by putting too much on your plate.
  • Sometimes, you have to say no to things – if someone asks you to do something out of the blue, see what you have to do already. I know it’s hard to say no to people as you don’t want to let anyone down, but wouldn’t you rather put do as good as job as you can rather than rushing something just to get it finished?
  • Prioritise – if something has to be done, then make it one of the first things you tackle on a day to get it out the way. If things can wait till another day and aren’t urgent, put them to one side for the time being. You can’t do everything at once. Trust me, I’ve tried.
  • Organise yourself – whether it’s a list, calendar, bullet journal, notebook, whatever. As long as you can organise yourself with something then you’re already halfway there. Seeing things written down on something makes everything clearer I’ve found.

All of these help to manage time better than blurring things together. However, out of all these, there is something far more important you should do when you feel things getting on top of you.

Stop. Take a deep breathe. Take a break.

You can only focus on something for so long until your brain can’t cope with it. When that happens, take a break for say 10-15 minutes to let your brain file what you’re trying to learn/do. If you don’t give yourself time to process it all, your mind won’t be clear of what it’s doing.

I for one am still trying to battle with not rushing things. It’s hard. However, it takes on average 66 days to form a habit. Just over a couple of months. Starting is never easy and having to remind yourself isn’t either. But in the long run, you’ll be way better for it. I’m still trying. Sometimes succeeding, sometimes failing, but it’s all a learning process isn’t it?

I hope sharing my experience and current fight with rushing to those who feel the same way I do about it is makes you feel that you’re not alone in wanting to kick it to the kerb. I mean, I sort of feel like I’ve rushed writing this but hopefully it helps!

Remember to stop, take a breathe, and take a break.