You Can't Do It All at Once, and That's Ok

This summer, I coached dozens of smart, ambitious women. All of them are hungry for success, and all of them ask me the same question:

“But… how do you get it all done?” 

And the answer, the real, unfiltered, no-nonsense answer, is simple:

I don’t. 

I could tell you that I’m super organised.

Or that I have a lot of help.

But the truth is: I don’t. I don't get it all done. Not even close.  

Shonda Rhimes said it best in The Year of Yes:

Whenever you see me somewhere succeeding in one area of my life, that almost certainly means that I’m failing in another area of my life.

If I am killing it on a script for work, I am probably missing bath and story time at home. If I am at home sewing my kid’s halloween costume, I’m probably blowing off a rewrite I was supposed to turn in. If I am accepting a prestigious award, I am probably missing my baby’s first swimming lesson. 

If I am succeeding at one, I am inevitably failing at the other. That is the trade-off. 

You never feel 100% ok. You never get your sea legs. You always feel a little nauseous. Something is always lost. Something is always missing.”  

 

Ain’t that the truth? 

We’re conditioned to want to do it all. And I believe you CAN do it all, but not at once. And that’s ok. 

This is the truth. And it’s my truth this week, in particular, as I take on a big new job and minimise my ongoing commitments. 

You see, I'm starting a new job (!!!) and I'm excited about it. I refuse to feel pangs of guilt for focusing on it and only it. 

Full disclosure: for the next few months, my website may not be as updated. My newsletter may be delayed. My side hustles are most definitely being turned down a notch. 

Bear with me. I’m figuring it out, just like you are. We’re all just figuring it out. 

Does that make me any less ‘committed’ to my overall success? Hell no. Does that make me a bad blogger, or mean I’m going to kill my momentum? Absolutely not. Does it mean I’m going to avoid burnout and be happier (and healthier!) in the process? NOW we’re talking. Yes. Yes. YES.

Life rewards the doers, that much is true. But life also rewards those who priotise what's actually worth doing. 

We put so much pressure on ourselves to do it all, and be it all, and see it all. And for what? 

To hashtag our hustle on Instagram? For the temporary gratification that comes with a completed to-do list? Because being a woman in 2017 means being it ALL and then some? Girl, PLEASE. 

The only person who is expecting you to do it all is you. 

Repeat after me: (Caps lock required) IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO DO EVERYTHING AT ONCE. IMPOSSIBLE. AND THAT'S OK.

Instead, all we can do is show up to our lives, openhearted, knowing our limitations and trusting our intuition. 

You can do anything, but you can't do everything. It's time to get selective. I guarantee you'll feel happier for it. 

 

EssaysBianca Bass