Getting More Out of Each Day By Doing Less

Education is something that we all know is a blessing. However, the stress of balancing midterms, friends, extracurriculars, and also making sure to cook, do laundry, and exercise, sometimes hinders our ability to appreciate our higher education. The day quickly begins to feel like a checklist of chores rather than a gift. Sometimes we make commitments despite knowing that our plate is already too full. We have come to believe that college is about pushing yourself past your limits. However, I have come to learn that filling your plate with one too many things is the wrong way to go about challenging yourself.

Image source: Mike Chai

When you have 24 hours in a day, there is one thing I try to never compromise ─ sleep. Having the energy to be productive during my entire day without crashes or yearnings for a nap is one way that helps me keep my life in order. During my time at Davis, I have had very different types of commitments on my plate. The main difference has to do with the amount I spread myself between my obligations. When your obligations are unrelated, it begins to feel like none of them are getting the attention they deserve. For example, having a quarter with a lot of easy units tests your stamina in terms of keeping up with assignments. However, having fewer units but a harder course load conceptually develops your mental stamina and discipline to work through complex concepts. 

The ability to accomplish many tasks in the day is absolutely a good skill, but if your day is only filled with busy work, you are exerting a lot of effort for very little returns. When designing my plate, each commitment has an important purpose and is intentionally there to help me learn something new. Being able to give 100% to a less filled plate has more returns for your mental health and growth rather than scratching the surface in a wide array of obligations. But most importantly, having a plate that’s overflowing prevents us from enjoying our education altogether. Life was never meant to be a chore.

Image source: Abriham Prakash