Why Your Never-Ending To-Do List Is Actually Making You A Better Person
As I sit here at 2 am, completing assignments for my internship, packing for a four-day conference and responding to the last round of emails for the day, I can’t help but wonder what my fellow classmates are doing right now.
If I had to guess, the party animals are probably finishing up their last round of shots before stumbling home for the night, the slack asses have been enjoying their typical 10-hour slumber and the Netflix addicts are most likely headed into their fifth episode of "Grey’s Anatomy."
Then, there’s me.
But not just me.
No, there are many of us. We are the obsessively motivated, ruthlessly determined, “can’t stop won’t stop” individuals who spend our days assessing an endless list of obligations and fighting the urge to bite off way more than we can chew.
We come in all shapes and sizes, from all different backgrounds, but there is one quality we all share. We are overachievers.
We accept challenges, explore opportunities and strive to exceed expectations. We lead, we volunteer and we do more than we’re asked.
Sounds like a lot, right?
That’s because it is.
If you ask us why we chose a life so full of chaos, you’ll probably hear different answers.
Some will say they were raised this way, others will claim it's their own stubborn motivation and some will have absolutely no idea.
It’s not really something you plan for.
No one enters elementary school with the goal of securing four internships before he or she graduates or becoming president of an organization he or she will one day join.
I guess it’s something that builds with time. We work hard to get into college, and once our freshman year has ended and we’re all settled in, we’re faced with a decision.
Do we glide through the next three years and try our best to maintain a decent GPA? Or do we take life by the reins, get involved, chase opportunities and dedicate our time to becoming hardworking, multitasking, college-educated superstars?
Maybe it’s not that extreme.
But once we’ve been given our freedom and forced to make our own decisions, there’s a definite path we begin to take.
The path becomes a winding road of trial and error as we try to figure out the types of people we will become.
We make the most of what we're given, and yet consistently strive for more.
No responsibility is too large, no task is too much and no deadline is too soon.
We have it covered most of the time.
You see, overachievers are also notorious for their inability to say “no.”
Once we begin volunteering for every open position, taking on leadership roles and offering favors, it’s not always easy to stop.
We know people depend on us, and our biggest fear is letting them down.
So we continue adding items to the to-do list, and do our best to complete them while trying to maintain a shred of sanity.
There are many late nights, coffee breaks and moments of pure exhaustion, but we keep moving.
To all my overachievers, here’s to you.
Know your hard work is recognized. Others notice the things you do and appreciate the effort you put in.
I know there are times when you feel as if it’s all for nothing.
But I promise you there's value in this lifestyle, even if you don’t always see it.
Keep killing the game, darling. But don’t overdo it.
Take it from someone who has been there before.
No group project, intern assignment or extracurricular activity is worth your own well-being. Take care of yourself and keep things in perspective.
People are more understanding than you might think, and the ones who aren’t don’t deserve your time.
Ten years from now, you won’t remember every event you planned or every meeting you attended.
But you'll remember how you felt while doing them.
Despite the many goals you may have in mind, being a happy and healthy individual should always be number one.
Focus on what matters and aim to achieve the happiness you rightly deserve.
Best of luck,
A fellow overachiever