2 min read

Tiny Thoughts: There's Always Too Much To Do

Tiny Thoughts: There's Always Too Much To Do
Photo by Anna Dziubinska / Unsplash

There Will Always Be More To Do

  • I was visiting NYC a few weeks ago for work.  While in office for a few days I found that some of my younger colleagues felt compelled to work after hours.  There was stuff that “needed” to get done according to them.
  • I warned them this is a recipe for burn-out and encouraged them to set better boundaries at work.  The line for when work is “over” for the day is blurry when you’re on salary and can be blurry still when you work remotely.  Find your line in the sand, and stick to it.  The one exception being, if your on-call.  The other caveat being at times when you are under a hard deadline to deliver.
  • The reason you shouldn’t rush trying to get your current task done is because there will ALWAYS be another one for you to do.  Clearing your to do list might feel good for a moment but there are always more things to do.  This is true in work or at home.
  • In Oliver Burkeman’s Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals he calls out this problem directly.  We think we can get to some magical state where everything is “done” and then we can relax.  The reality is there is always another task that needs doing.  What we should do is get as much work done as we can within our own boundaries of what is sustainable.  Then go relax knowing that the to do list of things never goes away.
  • I’ve recommended Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals multiple times.  It’s a great book that I’ll have to properly talk about on my blog at some point.
  • This week I received this in my inbox from the Daily Stoic, reminding us that life is constant change.
  • Embrace the never ending change.  You are never going to be “done”.  To be finished means to be dead.  Accept this and simply set your own boundaries each day.

Do Nothing

  • The opposite of having too much to do might be niksen.  Niksen is a Dutch wellness trend that means "doing nothing".
  • Take some time out of your day to do nothing but be.  Go sit outside, put your phone away, and just do nothing.  Try it.