Don't Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

Growing up, I always resonated with Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series. Her studious and sassy nature was everything and all I wanted to be. In particular, I remember relating to her when she wanted to take far too many classes than her schedule would allow, so she equipped herself with a magical device called a Time Turner. This allowed multiple copies of herself in different timelines to attend multiple classes at once.

While this seems like a dream to all us nerdy girls, is this really good for our mental health?

We strive to do it all because we are ambitious and aim to be successful. Ambition is admirable and success is sweet, but often times these two combined blind people to potential burnout when it comes to biting off more than they can chew. While having goals is a fantastic trait, it’s important to balance achieving them with mindfulness about how much one can handle at once. This isn’t to say one should limit themselves entirely; rather, one should limit how many projects, hobbies, organizations they join, and/or classes they want to attend to at once.

There are a lot of reasons why this is a crucial practice to exercise. For one, everyone has a threshold to their energy and time. It’s impossible to pour out one's best, or even most okayest, effort into a million things. Rather, it’s much more manageable to do so with a handful of areas in life that personally matter.

How does one balance life like this? It's not enough to just say, "Okay, I'll do less stuff." We must tackle the problem at the root! My greatest piece of advice is to live every moment with intention. While these two concepts don’t seem related, take a step back and think about why we take too much under our wing in the first place. Often times, there is a guilt that if we don’t, we are not living up to the expectations of others. If we are constantly thinking about other people's expectations, how are we going to live up to our own? But if you carry out every action with the intention of doing it for the right reasons, not only will the effort you put into what you really want to achieve reap success but happiness as well. Living with intention and spending your time doing what you really want to do simply go hand in hand. Do this and you'll find you'll never feel the urge to snag a Time Turner ever again. (Except maybe to see it do the cool spinny thing.)

 

Image credit: Hermione, Time Turner