Oh, my dear friend, I have a serious problem that might sound a bit familiar. It has been causing me trouble and is something that I would pay a hefty price to change.
I wasn’t born a superhero, nor have I found myself in a precarious situation that allowed me to develop superpowers. I’m also not wealthy enough to buy or create the kind of technology that would allow me to pretend to have powers and hang out with the cool kids. It’s really not fair. I can’t teleport to another place, be two places at once, read at super-human speed, move things with my mind, or snap my fingers and command others to do my work for me. Worst of all, I cannot manipulate time. It’s here, then it’s gone, just the same as everyone else.
That fact has been making me miserable over the past few years. Because, while it may seem obvious to others, it has never been obvious to me that I simply cannot do, be, or have everything, no matter how much blood, sweat, and tears I shed. Time keeps getting in the way, and it always will.
Sound familiar? If so, here’s what I have discovered…You can do almost anything, but only if you give up the notion of trying to do everything. Click To Tweet
You cannot do it all. You might think that you can, but the truth is if you want to succeed at something, you have to learn to set aside the things that are not important so you have adequate time to focus on the things that are.
This is one of the hardest things that we will ever have to learn, especially as creative entrepreneurs or someone who never stops dreaming.
It’s your average Wednesday, and you have at least 20-30 things that you want to get done before this weekend. Despite the fact that you are hard at work, trying to focus on this already large task list, your mind begins to wander. Before you know it, you have thought of a brilliant idea, and you are so excited to get started, any hope of finishing your current task has disappeared like your morning coffee.
You think, “Well, here’s this big, new thing that I just thought of. I don’t want to miss out, so I better hurry up and get started on it. I will work faster or move some other things around and find the time. No big deal.”
It doesn’t matter that you already have so many other things on your plate and strict deadlines to boot. Your only worry, in this moment, is the unknown repercussions of saying no or deciding to put the new idea on pause until you have more time to think about it. What if you never get around to it, somebody else beats you to it, or it just never happens? If it’s related to your business, it seems especially important because that means you might be missing out on money, opportunities for growth, or the chance to market your skills.
Who on earth would want that?!
You are truly lucky to have all of these wonderful, creative, once-in-a-lifetime ideas. And it’s great that you think you have the willpower and strength and time and energy to follow through. In some cases, you actually do. If you are spending time doing things that aren’t important, or have really bad time management skills, then of course you can shuffle your priorities and find time for those things.
For the majority of us, however, that’s not the case. We don’t have time, but we are really great at pretending that we do whenever we are faced with making difficult decisions about which tasks to abandon and which goals to pursue. We are blinded by our own ideas and ambition. It might not be such a big deal at first, but over time we find ourselves falling further and further behind, moving away from our goals rather than towards them. We begin questioning ourselves and our abilities. Maybe we’re just not smart enough, not working hard enough, not deserving enough. Then we start thinking about what we can do to change it all, and somehow this leads us to yet another “brilliant” idea. We will take that on, too. And we will fail. Miserably.
Have you ever seen one of those remodeling shows where a couple decides to remodel their whole house all at once, and they have unrealistic expectations of how long it will take and how much it will cost? I used to laugh at their naivety, but now I have realized that I am that couple when it comes to managing my creative business.
I have a lot of ideas and even more dreams for my business. I want nothing more than to work hard and be rewarded for my work. Unfortunately, my big ideas are sometimes my worst enemy.
As a blogger, my big ideas sometimes prevent me from being able to complete a post without thinking of something else that I want to write about. I try to stop just long enough to write my ideas down, so I don’t forget, but somehow I find myself staring at several more ideas, rough drafts, summaries, and research tabs four hours later. The same is true for my work as a digital artist. I am distracted by different ideas of what to draw or create, but I am also distracted by ideas of using different applications, methods, or styles. Creating printable forms and planners is the same. I start out creating a single health form to track exercise and nutrition, and before long I have a list of 30 other related forms that I might want to make. An entire week will pass like this before I realize that I have been putting in 10-12 hours every day and have nothing to show for it. I am no closer to reaching any of my goals, especially now that I have added so many other goals on top.
My problem isn’t that I don’t work hard enough; it’s that I don’t know how to say no to the one person that I hope to never disappoint – myself. But that’s exactly what I am doing.
We may not be superheroes, but that doesn’t mean that we have to continue failing and disappointing ourselves. We can do everything we set out to do as long as we remember that we can’t do it all at once. We want to. We have the strength, willpower, and determination. But at the end of the day, we just don’t have the time.I am not a superhero, but that won't stop me from reaching my goals. #notasuperhero Click To Tweet
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Any opinions expressed are strictly my own. If I wouldn’t eat, drink, or use something, neither should you (and I wouldn’t suggest otherwise).
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