Too much to do and not enough time.

A Multipotential Dilemma

I’m not one for the glorification of ‘busy’. Being busy seems to be a status symbol that many—including myself in past years—wear proudly. While there are certainly many positives of keeping one’s mind occupied with much to do, there is a fine-line that is easily crossed, tipping the scales away from happiness and toward stress.

But I cannot deny: I love work. I thrive on it.

Having many fun projects to work on is the essence of the multipotential life that I lead. These projects are not only highly enjoyable for me, but also have the potential to contribute happiness to other people’s lives. This results in my desire to complete them all now. I’m one of the most patient people I know, but the first 8 weeks of 2017 has reminded me that this unrealistic and dangerous desire must be kept in check.

We can’t do everything. It’s as simple as that. And we certainly can’t do everything now.

Prioritisation is key. We have to ask ourselves: What matters?…like…what really matters?

8 weeks since New Year

January & February always seem to go just a little too fast. The feeling that the entire year is ahead of you seems to lull one into a false sense of endless time. ‘There’s no rush’, you say to yourself.

…well, I do, anyway.

For me, 2017 from the start was always going to be a time management monster. In addition to trying to be a generally decent human, as well as a mindful son, brother, lover, and friend, I’ve been sharing my time between a number of different projects:

  • Refining my online business
  • Studying a Diploma in Counselling
  • Conceptualising and planning a brand new tap dance stage show
  • Restarting my tap dance classes in Brisbane
  • Improving the precision and consistency of my skills as a barista

The difficulty I’m finding is that I thoroughly enjoy each one of these. I want to do these, and more, at the same time. And that’s the problem: my natural motivation is leading me to a place that is un-sustainable.

It’s too many. Yet somehow, I’m staying afloat.

The best ideas come when you’re not looking for them.

If allowed to, any one of these projects could tip the scales away from ‘fun’ and into ‘stress’, which of course completely defies the point of having multiple projects to begin with. The simple solution would be to cut one out, and if I was thinking clearly, that’s probably what I would do.

And yet, in a rather ironic twist, this charged situation recently lead to a new project idea, which—as ideas often do—needed immediate attention in order to effectively capture the moment in which the idea is at its most raw and beautiful. It practically forced its way onto the project list. However, in fairness to the idea, I did little to stop it.

It came to me on a mid-week afternoon adventure, looking over a sunset view of a creek and some rolling-grassy-hills along a bike-track (thank you, Brisbane).

The idea: A time management app for people with multiple focuses. It would help the user to actually get things done effectively on a multi-project basis by acting as a clean, simple representation of where the user actually spends their time.

This is exactly what I need right now.

My research into existing products yielded few workable results. Apps or software to achieve a similar end are overly-cluttered and visually convoluted and involve a large learning curve to even understand the app. It needs be clean, it needs to be simple and quick to use, and of course, it needs to be beautiful. I’ve mapped out a pencil-sketch design and functionality, and brainstormed the idea to the point of feeling happy and able to say: I’ll come back to it.

It’s great to be alive.

The first 8 weeks of 2017 have brought many frustrations, but no matter how difficult things become, when I really stop and think, I can’t help but feel gratitude for every moment of this life I’m leading. Happiness is still winning out.

Take a moment to think about your first 8 weeks of 2017, and where the next 8 might lead you.

Be Kind. We’re all learning.

More and more, I’m coming to realise that it’s about understanding and accepting exactly where you are, and being okay with making mistakes. We are each a result of a unique set of events and circumstances that have lead us to now. While we may look back wishing we’d done things differently, I doubt there was an instruction manual.

Don’t spend too much time looking back…you’re not heading in that direction.