you can't have and do it all

I have this grand idea of how life should be.

In a perfect world, I will be able to have my cake and eat it too. I will be able to accomplish a lot and call it a day, feeling really good about the wonderful things I’ve done.

But there are just too few hours in one day.

I’m not saying that I’ve become one of those very busy people (oh, wait, am I?), but I’m just curious on how people are able to have and do it all. Let me explain.

Currently, my life is divided into four categories: university (eight contact hours weekly, plus fill-in-the-blanks hours of doing readings and assignments), casual work (about ten to fifteen hours weekly), quality time with boyfriend (whole weekend), and socialising with friends (whatever time is left). And I don’t have time for any other leisure activities. Today, I read my first book in two weeks, which is a red flag. My apartment is up to a liveable standard – nice and cosy, but not necessarily super clean. I have time to cook edible food with my sister and do the laundry, but we are doing only the basics.

I know, I’m actually not that busy. There are people who are busier than me by a big margin. The question is, how do they actually find the time to do everything else?

Take reading for example. Today, I made a conscious decision to not study or work during my two-hour break during classes. Instead, I had a latte and read Biz Stone’s Things A Little Bird Told Me that has been sitting on my iBooks for months. I don’t have the luxury to do my ironing in front of the TV anymore. In fact, the only time I watch TV is when I’m having dinner – it’s always either The Project or The Bachelor.

And those busy people – very busy people, are able to study, work, have minimal sleep, knit, do their hobbies, socialise, go out for a drink, cook gourmet food, keep a plant alive, and take care of a dog at the same time. How on earth…?

My ex-manager told me once that if you want things to be done quicker, give them to busy people. Somehow, busier people are better in their time management and instinctively know what ought to be done. Probably he is right.

Thing is, I’d love to do more. I’d love to pick up a book every other day and have my journaling time with a cup of coffee everyday. I’d love to accomplish all these things and still be functioning. I’d love to learn more skills and master new stuffs.

Yet I’m barely updating my blog these days.

My good friend is able to do a full-time job while doing a full-time Master’s degree. And she still has the time to read and socialise and go out and bake. She really has a good time management, I reckon.

I know acquaintances who run a non-profit and a full-time job. I have no idea how they are able to do both for real. I know a friend who does twenty-five hour of part-time job weekly while doing a full-time engineering degree, and still has the time to be involved in church and have quality time with her boyfriend. I really am amazed.

I’m not too busy. That would be an overstatement. But I think it’s time for me to realise that perhaps I can’t have and do it all. I have to consciously choose what I want to spend my time with. Instead of sleeping nine hours everyday, perhaps I would try to have eight (this is going to be hard). And I would have to introduce new routines to keep, and this time, really stick by it.



Photo by Sonny Abesamis