You Can Only Do A Certain Number of Things Everyday

#MicroblogMondays We often demand too much of ourselves, and that’s not fair because we can only do a certain number of things everyday before we burnout.

Aren’t stock photos great?

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about using Sundays to plan your week. The problem with planning though, is that we are unable to align our expectations with our delivery, and that leads to frustration.

You can only do a certain number of things everyday before you expend all your willpower. And while it is all well and good to power through and get more done, the satisfaction can often provide only diminishing returns. You might feel great, but your body is worn out more than you realize. Sustaining that behavior leads to long-term exhaustion, otherwise known as burnout.

When we sit down to plan, we do so with a fresh and motivated mind. What we fail to realize is that we cannot sustain high motivation throughout a week – there will be ebbs and flows. It is important to be conservative with your week plans so that you don’t overburden yourself.

Life is a Balancing Act

It’s not easy to live your life – you do many things for many people. Know that you are not alone in having difficulty to balance life – between personal health and fitness, work, relationships, entertainment, hygiene, and dependencies, there’s a lot that we all juggle. If you constantly find yourself tired or fatigued, chances are you may be doing too much.

If you maintain daily task lists or a planner, see if you’re doing too many things on one day. Pick the most important ones, and do those, while relegating the rest of the tasks to later in the week. Reorganize your wardrobe can wait if you have a work deliverable pending.

Allow Yourself to Breathe

I am very guilty of trying to do too much. Recently, with my bullet journal system, I noticed that I lucked into an automatic limit. I only allocate a small box to daily task lists, and these boxes cannot hold more than 7-8 items of text. Keep in mind that these items include everything – from work, to workout of the day, to meal plans, and so I am automatically limiting myself to a few large items everyday.

It’s not perfect, but it helps me to push some work over the week and feel less fatigued by limiting myself to a certain number of things. I’m currently sick from fatigue, and recovering, so every bit helps.

Do you plan your work day generously? Do you have a tip for anyone else reading this short? Leave a comment below! Thank you for reading.

  • I almost always plan to do too much. Which never ends well. If I don’t get to everything I end up feeling unaccomplished, or I try to do it all and half-ass it or start and don’t finish a million things so then I still feel like crap. My new plan is trying to prioritize better, and realizing that not everything needs to be done this minute. Also giving myself some leeway on the things that can wait.

    • Vaibhav

      That’s great to hear Charlotte. If I could give you some advice, I’d say try to limit yourself to three important things a day – it’s doable, it’s sufficient, and it allows you to give each item enough focus.

  • Sometimes its not even about doing too much, its just that everything is too much. I only had one thing planned for this past Sunday but when my five year old threw a tantrum I ended up in tears as well. It’s not so much about planning too much, but not being flexible when things need to change on the fly – thats the hard part!

    • Vaibhav

      I understand where you’re coming from! Things tend to find a way to be a wrench in our plans – little anxieties add up quickly.

  • Mel

    I planned out today and ended up getting nothing done that was originally on the list BUT a lot done that I didn’t know would be added to my list. It’s about being okay with what got done vs. only focusing on what didn’t.

    • Vaibhav

      As long as the things got added were important things. We tend to edit our lists as we go along to make ourselves feel better – to get that sweet, sweet crossing-out feeling.

      But yes, it really is about being okay with what you managed to do vs what couldn’t be done.