Yesterday, someone on Instagram asked where that quote above my computer comes from. It says ‘Just because you can doesn’t mean you should’. Well, I wrote it myself, to remind me of something very important…
Today, life is limitless. We can do anything we want, when we want it. The opportunities are endless!
That can also mean you get overwhelmed by all the choices you have. It might even stress you out.
For me personally, it was always exciting to see all the possibilities: I would not just do graphic design, I would take on photography too. I was spreading my chances by taking on multiple jobs so I would generate a proper income. But it was stressing me out. I was heading towards a burn-out.
I looked inside myself and asked: what do I really want to do? It was scary to pick just one thing, but you can’t do it all. I made a decision and picked illustration.
Sometimes I still fall in old habits. I see something online and think “I can do that too!”. When I really shouldn’t, because I already have too much to do.
But not only with your career you can take on too much. Your personal life can also be affected by the possibilities you have. You can find ‘the perfect partner’ through Tinder, we can make the perfect dish because the recipes are online, we should have a breathtaking interior because you can order the furniture through websites… The list is endless. As long as you’re happy with everything, it’s fine. But when you come to the point that you are exhausted, maybe it’s time to pick your favourites.
Spreading yourself thin
There is nothing wrong with doing a lot of things at the same time, but you have to be careful you’re not spreading yourself too thin. Taking on multiple things will mean you’ll have less time per task to spend on it. For example: you can bake 15 cookies within an hour that are kind of messy and undercooked, or you can bake just 5 which are perfect. Do you really need 15 cookies, or will 5 do?
The more serious consequence is feeling stressed and tired, and maybe even heading towards a burn-out.
Post-it’s will do the trick
So what do you do when you have too much on your plate?
It really helped me to look inside myself and pick a few things that made me happy. I did the following:
- I grabbed a post-it pad and wrote all the things that I currently do and would like to do on it, using a green coloured post-it pad for career-things and a yellow coloured pad for personal things.
- Then I put all the post-it’s on the wall and took a good look at it.
- Deciding which things are most important to me, I set myself the task to just leave 3 post-it’s for my career and 3 post-it’s for my personal life on the wall.
- The rest of the post-it’s I threw away.
This brought me to the core of what I really wanted to do. If I complete a task/post-it, I am allowed to add a new one.
This way, I am much more focused. I’m giving 3 career tasks my absolute devotion instead of spreading it thin over 10 or more tasks.
I have the quote up on my wall, right above my computer. It reminds me every time that I have to make choices. I scanned it in and you can download it and print it, to remind yourself as well.
Click on the image, or download the PDF here.
You can print it out and hang it wherever you want!
The size is A5, which is half of a regular A4 sized paper. Best way is to cut an A4 paper in half, and set your printer to printing on A5 size.
Please note that this PDF can only be used for personal use and it’s not allowed to reproduce or sell this design.
I hope you are not distracted by too many possibilties and find your passion on which you can focus on!
Thank you for reading my blog and don’t hesitate to send this to a friend who could use this.
All text and images © Marloes De Vries