Doing it all

A question that I get asked on a regular basis is “how do you do all these things you do?” Mostly this question is followed by an outspoken or silent “I wish I could do that too!” To be honest, I cannot give you an easy step by step advice on how to live your life in the way you would love to. I cannot change your life into your picture perfect. If I am completely honest: There is no picture perfect life. The only thing I can do for you, is let you know how I manage to keep three “jobs” and do the things I love a lot.

In the end I am not going to tell you anything new. There have been many before me who have told you the same story. There are no new insights in this little piece of text. Having said that, when you are unhappy with the life you lead, stop reading and start changing! You are, always, the one that is in control. Finding excuses or reasons to accept your situation, to stay where you are and to prevent change is a choice as well. Sometimes you might not like the outcome or the side effects of choices you will want to make in order to get where you want to be, and you decide not to change. That is fine, but it is a choice nonetheless. Sometimes the road to change is long and you decide not to go on that journey. That is fine too, but it is still your choice!

So how do I manage my life? Simple: I do the things that I love to do, and sometimes I don’t and I do everything to change so I eliminate the things I do not like to do from my routine. Sometimes I suck it up and finish the job, but most of the time I find a better thing to do.

The second element of my life, is knowing what I like to do. And no, I do not know what I like to do or where I want to be in x years. All I know is what makes me feel happy and satisfied. I know what makes me feel miserable and useless. I also have a hint of who I want to become when I grow up. Just a hint, but it is enough to give me a direction to move towards.

The last element that is very useful for me is acceptance. There is a sentence that describes this part better than I could ever put it myself: “Change the things that you can, accept the things that you cannot change and be wise enough to know the difference.”

And yes, that really is all there is to it.

Where did I start?
A few years ago I read a blog on Nerdfitness.com stating that all the time you waste watching television and playing video games could be spend on other things as well. At first I rejected the idea: I was not watching that much television and I did not play that many video-games, did I? Wrong. I did. And yes, there were other wasteful activities in my routine. Activities that did not help me feeling happier and more energized and were not getting me closer to my goals.

I started to log my activities in order to see how much time I was actually spending on things that do not motivate me, energize me or help me get closer to any of my goals. It helped me to make choices that contributed to getting closer to my dream life. For a generalist like me, there were plenty of activities to log and there were plenty that I really liked doing. Eliminating the things that do not contribute sometimes is difficult, but in the end all the choices I made added up to me getting closer to my goals. And still, I need to be critical. I need to evaluate the things I do now and then and just say to myself: “It is time to move on”, “it is time to make a choice”, or “it is time to say yes or no to an opportunity.” And still it hurts sometimes when I need to say no to something that I love doing too, but if I have learned one thing, is that focus on a few things is more than enough. Focus and planning.

And that is the last thing I want to say about it at this point. Planning is a very important factor. Though for most people it looks as if my life is a complete chaos, I actually have it pretty much structured for myself. Yes I do many different things, but no, I do not do all of them at the same time. I manage how much time I spend on activities. I manage how many different activities I have every week. I decide if I want to make concessions to my planning when something new comes up. I accept that all the choices I make have an effect on the available stash of energy and time.

 

I am curious about you! Are you a generalist too? How do you manage your activities? Do you do the things that you like? Let me know in the comments!

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