When I was a kid (and I was unknowingly living the glory days of not having to stress over college) I used to play this game. I called it “Don’t Let the Balloon Touch the Floor.” It’s a simple game: you launch the balloon up in the air and not let it touch the floor. And I enjoyed it. I felt like one of those superheroes when they do that agility trickery-do. I felt like I could do anything.
Now, imagine what would happen if there were more than one balloon you have to keep from touching the floor. Imagine twelve balloons. Suddenly it’s not so enjoyable now, is it? It will become tiring. You’d have to be in different places and look at all twelve balloons at once. Before long, you’d be out of breath and frantic. You’d be overwhelmed.
That’s also what happens when you try to work on everything – and I mean every minute detail – in your life at the same time.
I find that high-achievers and perfectionists such as myself struggle with this. Not only do I try to juggle college and blogging and my art and the occasional freelancing I get. I want to do all of them at the same time – and do it per-fect-ly. I want to keep all these balloons from touching the floor because they are all important. They all hold significant places in my life. It just feels wrong to choose one from the other when I could do everything I can to keep all of them afloat, right? Right???
Wrong, Kate. W R O N G.
Look, I love Shakira and I love Zootopia and Judy but I don’t think this is what they meant by “trying everything”. And okay, there’s nothing wrong with trying to find that delicious middle ground where you manage to balance everything. Work-life balance is, like, every twenty-something’s dream. Being a Master Multitasker just feels like the Productivity Holy Grail.
But to perfectly manage every aspect in your life perfectly?? It’s just damn near impossible.
Here’s the difficult pill to swallow:
If you want to exercise more regularly, but also eat more nutritiously, and meditate, and be more productive and write more words a day and also, like, want to master crocheting all-at-freaking-once, can you possibly dream of achieving any one of those things?
(In case you’re curious, yes, that pill is still stuck in my throat.)
Surprisingly, there are people who could. But the vast majority of the world can’t. I can’t. A lot of the people I know can’t. And if you’re one of us and you’re agonizing over this, I want you to know there is absolutely nothing wrong you!
This simply means that you are human (not saying that those who can master multitask aren’t) and you have limitations. You can only do so much at a time. Some things, like self-improvement, are simply not something you can multitask. Trying to improve every aspect of your life all at once will leave you exhausted. Like trying to keep twelve balloons afloat.
Sure, maybe all of the things you have to improve are important. But you don’t have to accomplish them altogether. You can take on one thing and focus on only that one thing.
Instead of balloons, imagine you’re making pottery.
You have one lump of clay on top of the pottery wheel. You work your damn best and do your frakkin-hardest to turn that lump into a work of art. And when you’re done (and it will be a work of art, because I believe in your awesomeness) you move on to work on the next lump. Then the next lump. Then the next. Focus on one thing at a time. Until you’ve accomplished all the lumps you had to work on. Until all of them are works of art.
And look! You didn’t have to juggle everything all at once! Yay you!
Do you also struggle with wanting to self-improve on #AllTheThings? Would you rather multitask on personal goals or try one thing at a time? Share your thoughts below!
LOVE THIS POST? DON’T FORGET TO PIN IT!
Photo from Ivory Mix