Stop trying to do it all

Posted by on Oct 25, 2013 in Work-life Balance | 18 comments

This week I stopped trying to do it all. It wasn’t really a conscious decision to stop trying to do it all but a result of being in a peaceful place with myself and my life.

I stopped being busy for busy’s sake.

What that really looks like for me is moment-to-moment I simply started doing what feels right, instead of what I think I should do. I realized I take on a lot of obligations that are entirely of my own making- obligations that aren’t even necessarily important to my life. It was as if all this time I was following a formula for a great life instead of just living a great life.

It started Monday morning.

Over the weekend I completed several organizational projects and felt great about getting my space and my life in order. I started a blog organizational project that included updating old links and images on this blog.

When I woke up Monday morning I was motivated to finish my blog organization but it was Monday and I should go to work. After all, it was a work day.

I briefly pondered calling in sick but I didn’t really like that idea; I hate lying. Then I had a thought- an epiphany, if you will. What if I was honest with my boss and asked for the day off? What? No way! Ridiculous, I thought.

Ridiculous or not, I texted my boss, explaining that I was in the middle of a project and asked if it was alright if I took the day off. Can you guess what he said?

Instead of thinking I had to go to work, I asked for what I wanted and I got it. Instead of putting off what I was motivated and inspired to do, I stopped thinking of what I should do and did something that was important to me. Instead of trying to do it all, I focused on one thing I could do.

be inspired

The rest of the week I continued to do what I felt inspired to do in the moment. I went to work, handled chores and other tasks as necessary, but as much as possible I asked myself, “is this something I want to do or something I think I should do?”

I let go of many things I thought I should do- I left them undone! Well, it’s coming up on the end of the week and I’ve accomplished a lot- but only those things that were most important to my continued health, happiness, and success.

This week I learned most of the things I do aren’t really necessary. I may still choose to them if it feels right, or enriches my life in some way. Otherwise, I now have the freedom to stop trying to do it all and do only what I choose to do that day.

I invite you to stop trying to do it all, even if for just a day. Give yourself permission to do what you feel inspired to do. Challenge your shoulds. Live a life that supports your health, happiness, and success!

I love your comments! What if you stopped trying to do it all and did what felt right in the moment? Will you try it? What can you do that’s important to you today?


  1. Hi Chrysta,

    Great advice. I have experienced that and heard time and time again.

    when we release ourselves from those tensions which become a “resistance” we are relieving negative energy and all becomes clear and more peaceful.

    Since I still have a job too for the moment, at times I do call out to take care of my own things and business. Fortunately I do not have to lie because they allow this with no problem. Lying is never the answer.

    I’m glad you took the time to breath and relax and shared it with us.

    • Thanks for sharing your experience, Sylvaine! It’s good to hear I’m not the only one that can be honest about taking the day off for personal business- of course we all have lives outside work and good employers want employees to be balanced and healthy.

      I appreciate your suggestion to release ourselves from tension and resistance- I have experienced this myself! Sometimes when I struggle and struggle and struggle what I really need to do is let go and everything I was struggling to fix just works out. I love it when that happens.

      Have a grateful day!


  2. We all need to learn to be so much more like you Chrysta. That’s so great that your boss let you take the day off and do what you wanted to do and I’m glad you were inspired to do just that.

    I think this is a big lesson for us all although there are some things that have to be done that I just really don’t enjoy at all and never will. They still have to be done though.

    Maybe if I just put myself in a much better attitude for the days I know I need to accomplish those things that they’ll be a bit more enjoyable. I can always say to myself I don’t really have to do them if I don’t want to. I do them because of the results I’ll get. Tada!

    It’s all about being happy with ourselves and life in general.

    Thanks for this message and hope everyone loved your look today at work. Your face looked amazing girl. Happy Halloween!


    • I love your attitude, Adrienne!

      Now I have to start off this reply by saying I’m sorry for taking so long to reply. Not sure what happened there- I didn’t know I had a comment from you awaiting a reply, or maybe it just slipped my mind! I try to be more on top of things but, of course, sometimes I miss things, even important things. Good thing I’m not going to let it keep me down- we all slip up!

      I have found that sometimes when I try to force myself to do the thing I don’t want to do first, it’s so hard to get anything done! However, when I allow myself to do what feels right to me, I feel energized and motivated and it’s easier to follow up with the annoying to-do’s after I’ve done something I want to do. Maybe it doesn’t work that way for everyone, but it works that way for me!

      Keep up your awesome outlook and thank you very much for your comment!


  3. I always read your posts on triberr, then share. I never come to the blog to comment, well today I’m here. I love this post and have recently adopted the same philosophy. I’m no longer busy without purpose and I do what I love on the days that my inspiration taps me on the shoulder and grins.

    Does this mean all the other obligations don’t get done? They do, but it means I push them out faster and get to the fun stuff quicker. And also I’m finding ways to automate some streams of my business and hire others to do some of the things I loathe doing. It’s a win-win.

    • Well, I’m so happy you decided to come by and comment today- thank you!

      I love hearing your experience and go you for giving your inspiration a voice and kicking busy for busy’s sake to the curb! Like you, I still take care of obligations- the ones that really need doing- but I stopped putting my inspiration last on my list. I find I get more of the obligations done with less effort when I am feeling inspired than when I push my inspiration aside and try to do all the un-fun stuff first.

      I also love that you mentioned hiring others to take care of things you don’t enjoy. Use your resources where they benefit you most- YEAH!

      Thanks again for commenting today! Have a grateful day!


  4. I agree! Letting to of what we think we have to do and focusing on what we’re inspired to do somehow magically creates the space to enjoy life and the work! What I really love is that you thought about calling in sick and instead of calling in sick, you asked for what you wanted – and needed! White lies are rampant and pile up to create quite a mess. I’m inspired by your ask, Chrysta!

    • Thanks so much for sharing your experience, Alli!

      Like you, I find putting my inspiration first creates space in my life. Trying to do everything else first often seems to suck up all my energy until there’s not much left.

      One lesson I am learning is it’s always appropriate to ask for exactly what I want. That doesn’t mean I’ll get it, of course, but if I don’t ask at all chances are I won’t and if I do ask chances are good that I will!

      Have a fantastic day!


  5. Haha 😀 I have been doing this for some time too – last week, and this week. Right now, I am experimenting with block schedules; I have blocks for learning, for reading and all.

    It has went well for the past few months, for the last two weeks, not so much (It wasn’t something I wanted to do. Other activities got in the way – from blogging to gaming 😀 I do love gaming!). And, it feels great (Okay, I do feel guilty for skipping my “skills/habit” block. As you can guess, it is one hour dedicated just to forming new habits and learning new skills).

    Anyways, thank you for sharing this, Chrysta! I feel a little better now 😀

    • I’m so glad you shared your experience, Jeevan! I like the idea of blocking out time for certain activities- including time for gaming or whatever it is you enjoy doing. Life should be at least as much fun as it is work. :)

      Thanks, as always, for commenting! I appreciate your insights!

      Have a wonderful day!


  6. Inspiring Chrysta! Shoulds have a way of piling up over time and weighing us down big time. I would like to say I’m in the same place as you are right now, but I’ve committed myself to make a big year-end push. Still, I’m okay with it because I enjoy what I’m doing and plan to take some downtime just before the new year.

    • Thanks so much for stopping by today, Marty!

      I’ve always got to keep an eye on the shoulds because, boy oh boy, they can weigh me down. I can, however, appreciate that you’re in a place that you’ve made a commitment to yourself and you’re going to push through- sometimes that’s important, too. I just need to sometimes be reminded that I don’t always have to push through- the world won’t end if I let things go undone or don’t do them at all! :)

      Have an excellent weekend and a grateful day!


  7. Hi Chrysta

    I have had to make a decision many times through out this year as to what really is important. What am I willing to give up and what I really feel like doing.

    It is not easy when we expect so much from ourselves, but I had to evaluate what I was getting out of the tasks I was doing. When there was no financial gain, I then had to decide what do I like doing and what am I struggling to do. It makes no sense to push yourself if there is nothing of financial results, it then becomes what is the other part of gain (such as meaning to the soul) if there is nothing, then it is time to abandon the project even when one has put hours into it. I struggled with being a quitter, but if one is beating themselves up with this mindset, it only hurts yourself.

    Life is too short to be wasting it on doing things we don’t like to do or gain zero from doing it.


    • Thank you for sharing your experience, Mary!

      I was recently faced with a situation where there was no financial gain but a lot of effort on my part and I had to give myself permission to step away from that opportunity and focus my energies elsewhere. It was a difficult decision because I felt people were counting on me but the opportunity was not what I was told it would be and I chose not to give so much of myself to something that wasn’t giving back in any way to me.

      I’m glad you’ve done the same when it was right for you! Thank you for stopping by! Have a grateful day!


  8. Hi Chrysta,

    I have to agree with Sue – a great message indeed – just what I needed :)

    You are SO right in the decision you finally took, and that made all the difference to your life, didn’t it? I think finding your own happiness at the end of the day is important, which we tend to forget in the busyness of our life.

    There are certain changes I’m seriously thinking of bringing about in my life too, which I know will make things much easier for me and my family. I guess it all comes down to the choices we finally make in our life, isn’t it?

    Oh yes…knowing what you have to do is more important than the ones you should do, and once you go ahead and do those, you also realize that it wasn’t all that difficult and everything falls so well into place. I guess it’s just that we need to get used to it.

    Thanks for this inspirational post. Have a nice weekend :)

    • Thank you for sharing your insights on this topic, Harleena!

      You said it perfectly- we forget to find our own happiness in the busyness of life. It’s so easy to get distracted by all these other things- things that don’t add value or add limited value or simply things that would be nice to do but aren’t necessary to our happiness. We put the thing that are necessary to our happiness as our lowest priority- why do we do that?!

      Good luck with the changes you are thinking about making in your life. Whatever you decide I am sure it will be honoring of you and your family, and therefore the best possible choice you can make right now. :)

      Have a wonderful weekend and a grateful day!


  9. A great message, Chrysta – I think a lot of misery is caused because people simply try to cram too much into their busy lives. I was getting into a real state about my blogging activities a while back, and I’ve felt much better since I made a decision to do what I can do and stop trying to “keep up” with what I perceived was expected of me.

    We need to give ourselves permission, sometimes, just to say “no” to some non-essential tasks and to be realistic about what we can achieve.

    Thanks for an inspirational post :)

    PS Your comluv link doesn’t seem to be working today

    • Thank you so much for your comment, Susan! And thank you for letting me know my CommentLuv plug-in isn’t working. I’m doing some troubleshooting on that.

      Yes, we cram way too much into life, and so much of that stuff just isn’t really important in the long run. For example, we’re having a party next weekend and I complied this long list of things I’d like to get done before the party, such as reupholstering our dining room chairs- how crazy is that? I realized I don’t need to do any of the things on my list- that our friends and family will come and have a good time if I get those things done or not. So I’m going to go with not! 😉

      Have an excellent weekend and a grateful day!


Leave a Comment