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  • Writer's pictureMindy McCarthy

You Can Do Anything But Not Everything

Have you ever made a to do list and then felt overwhelmed by the site of it? Or have you had a to do list that you feel like continues to grow instead of eliminating items from it?

I think this is when we can all get knocked down a peg. It is as if we needed a reminder that we are not superman or woman.

I think sometimes we can feel like this when we set out to achieve certain goals. We are certainly capable of doing anything we want, but we can’t always do everything. Thinking about this makes me think about how nice it would be to have more hours in the day sometimes to do everything we want.

Even when it comes to self-care, sometimes we find ourselves wanting to schedule bath times for ourselves or safe social gatherings with friends but then realize we can’t quite fit everything in our schedules.

This is where priorities will most likely come into play. Figuring out your priorities is helpful, especially when you come to the realization that you can’t do everything.

How do you personally prioritize your to do list?

I love doing these activities with athletes, especially collegiate athletes who feel that their time isn’t really their own between workouts, practices, study halls, classes, etc. When you have a lot of things to do or things on your schedule, try color coordinating your to do list. Pick a color (take red for example) for things that need to be accomplished fairly soon like the same day or within a day from now. Pick another color that represents things that need to be accomplished within the same week. Then, pick a different color of things that need to be accomplished within the next month.

What about those tasks of things that you want to do but don’t need to do? Let’s say you have a new project that you want to work on to grow as a professional or help set you up for the future. Make sure to pick your own deadline, and assign it the right color.

If you aren’t someone who likes color coordinating things, what about scheduling specific times of your day to achieve certain tasks? That way, you are not feeling burnt out trying to finish one task completely, and you can choose to do different tasks as you go.

Make sure to still schedule things that will give you a mental break during your days, especially ones where it feels that your to do list is growing constantly. Even if it is scheduling a 10 minute walk around the block, that can give you the sun exposure you need to get some good vitamin D as well as move your body to pump some positive endorphins to your brain.

It is easy to start feeling overwhelmed with your tasks at hand, but it helps to take a step back to analyze your abilities. The truth is that we are all human, and we all have the same amount of time in the day.

Show yourself some grace when feeling overwhelmed. Sometimes, you can’t control what tasks are assigned to you, but you can control your organization and attitude towards these tasks.

You can do anything, but you can’t do everything.

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