Shoutout to all my overachiever babes. You have so much you want to accomplish in this world, and you’re damn good at it. You can fold a load of laundry, fix your makeup, walk your dog, prep dinner, call your mom, post an insta story, pack your gym bag, pump gas, empty the dishwasher, order dog food, and tidy the house. And that’s all during your 30 minute lunch break.
Queen of Crossing Off the To-Do List
You’re so good at getting stuff done. Like scary good. Yet somehow you can never seem to catch up. The “stuff” that needs doing seems to multiply despite your best efforts. If you could only do more, be more, then maybe you could get it all done. If you could just be more efficient, grasp tighter, then maybe your to-do list would finally get under control.
This, my friends, is called overachieving. You’ve been conditioned to keep adding to your to-do list, but really this is just a distraction from what really matters. It’s time to break free from the cycle of busyness and overachieving.
Origin of Overachievering
It starts so innocently: one day when you’re young, you get a buncha stuff done, and you receive praise for your efforts. You feel all warm and fuzzy. Your sweet little brain internalizes the message that accomplishing tasks is good, and the opposite is bad. The more tasks you complete, the more love you will receive.
Pretty soon, this whole pattern goes a layer deeper. You don’t even need external praise or scorn, you inflict these standards on yourself. You constantly judge yourself and your productivity. And man are you a harsh critic. Days, hours, even moments are judged on how “productive” they were. Not how present you were. Not how much love and joy you felt. But how many menial tasks you completed. Did you “do” enough? Did you “accomplish” enough? That’s how you determine whether or not you deserve to feel good about yourself.
The Problem with Overachieving
The issue with overachieving is that the target is always moving. Always increasing. You get a seemingly impossible number of tasks done, yet the to-do list never feels complete. You accomplish a ton in one area of your life, but those other facets are still woefully inadequate. You may have killed it in your business this month, but don’t feel too proud, because your house is a mess. Your kids are flourishing and you finally took time to read that novel you’ve been eying forever, but you haven’t worked out in weeks.
Always Something More
There’s always something more. There’s always something you didn’t accomplish. Always more left to do. If you’re a passionate person, you’re never going to run out of things to try and ideas to bring to life. There’s always more you can be doing. More places to see. More people to meet. Wanting to do and see everything is a blessing and a curse. The trick is to find that sweet spot between striving for more and feeling content with what you have. Busyness and overachieving clouds our perception and makes that balance nearly impossible.
Quantity Over Quality
One of the huge issues with overachieving is that it makes us strive for quantity over quality. We place more value in accomplishing unimportant tasks than deep, soul-refreshing activities. It messes with our priorities and rips us away from our soul’s true purpose. We tend to use busyness as a distraction from facing those big soul tasks. It’s easier to fold laundry than it is to sit down and start that novel. Running to Target feels more comfortable than having that vulnerable conversation with your partner. If we stripped away all of your tasks, you’d be forced to face yourself and your reality. Have you been making time for what matters? Or are you just checking off boxes on an imaginary list?
How to Break the Cycle of Overachieving and Busyness
If you’re looking for simple, 5 second tips and tricks, you’ve come to the wrong place. I’m not in the business of providing “life hacks” and easy solutions. Your overachieving and busyness has likely been a lifelong problem, and a quick fix is not gonna undo years of conditioning. This will require some deep work and acceptance.
Choosing not to give into the allure of busyness is a daily practice.
You may need to remind yourself of these truths a hundred times a day. But once you start flexing that muscle, it’ll get easier to stay focused on what matters and not give in.
You Are Enough.
You are inherently worthy. You were born worthy, and nothing you do or don’t do will change that. It’s that simple. You don’t need to do anything to be worthy. You are alive and breathing and that means you have a place on this earth and you are valuable. No matter what your religion or beliefs, the fact that you exist in a body on this beautiful planet is a miracle. You are a miracle.
You are enough. You are enough when you run a marathon, and you’re also enough when you haven’t gotten out of bed for three days. You are enough when you’re big and bold, and you’re enough when you’re small and scared. You are always enough. You don’t need to do anything to prove your worthiness.
Shift Your Perspective of Success
My idea of success used to mean accomplishing a bunch of tasks in a given day. Doing more than everyone else at work. Getting a bunch of chores done at home. Getting lost in the day to day.
Now my days are measured by the quantity of service, love, and peace.
What good is a day full of tasks if you didn’t add any love to the world? If you didn’t serve anything except your desire to cross things off your list? If you lie down at night and your mind is a racing mess?
This perspective allows you to feel deep contentment. When your day is full of love, service, and peace, you don’t need anyone else’s opinion. You don’t need to grasp for approval. You know with all of your being that today was a good day. A full day. You take your power back when you start defining success in your own terms.
Focus on What Matters
You weren’t born so that you could accomplish an endless list of chores and tasks. You know this. I know this. Yet somehow we always get wrapped up in this cycle of prioritizing a bunch of small tasks over what really matters.
The solution is to figure out what really matters to you, and make sure your days include pieces of that. Sit down every morning and write down the 3 things you want to focus on that day. Not three things you want to accomplish, but 3 things that will be a fulfilling use of your energy. So this includes “soft” goals like “make my partner feel loved and valued” or “be present with my kids for 20 minutes.” If you accomplish those things, you’ll feel content and the more mindless tasks will fall into place around them.
Accept that Some Tasks May Not Get Done
Here’s the kicker: when you prioritize those truly important things, it means you’ll have less time for the rest. This is a hard pill to swallow. It’s great to wanna focus on your soul’s purpose, but hello, those dishes aren’t gonna wash themselves. So it comes down to balance. Push and pull. Some days are gonna be full of chores and tasks, but just don’t make that your go-to state every day.
You’re gonna hate me for saying this, but you have to accept that some tasks aren’t gonna get done. Or they’re not gonna be done to your standards. When you’re busy serving the world and cultivating a peaceful mind, something’s gotta give.
You have to accept that the laundry may pile up. You may not have time to curl your hair. Your car might be in desperate need of a wash and vacuum. We all know those people whose house and car and life seem perfectly put together, but they’re a neurotic mess. Don’t make yourself that person. Give yourself some slack. It will all get done eventually.
Everyone prefers the less polished, more peaceful version of you.
You Got This.
Ladies, we got this. We totally got this. You have nothing to prove. You already know you’re a master at getting stuff done, and everyone else knows it too. So put down the to-do list and get to work on what truly satisfies your soul. Let’s encourage, remind, and cheer each other on.