In the past, we used to go the office from 9 to 5. Most had very little responsibilities, as they were told what to do. Our professional life was figured out at graduation (for some, even earlier), and the personal life was fairly standard for the majority of people. We were closely in touch with our colleagues, friends and family, and the number of acquaintances was quite low. The most we got into an argument was probably once a year, perhaps at Christmas over some sport-related topic.
Today our lives are infinitely more fluid. Personal and professional are mixed. We answer work emails while we sit on the sofa close to our dear one, watching the latest episode of True Detective. At the same time we have an ongoing conversation on Instagram with a friend we have not met since high school, and we are arguing on Twitter on who is the best Democratic candidate for 2020. We are acquainted to many more people than we are closely in touch with, and we are constantly asked to make decisions, take responsibilities, change who we are and the context in which we live.
In this scenario, we have to be careful to pick only the battles that make sense for us in a specific period, as we cannot deplete our mental and physical energy on many different fronts simultaneously. Chances are that if you are going through a divorce, or having a kid, or moving to a new town, you will not be able to give your best at work or to come up with the ultimate idea for your next novel. The opposite is true as well.
The bad news is, there’s not time for everything.
The good news is, there’s a time for everything.
Despite what the sense of urgency that is imposed on us for any little unimportant thing, if we can discern what really matters and give it our attention to the highest possible level, we’ll eventually get it done and be able to pass on to what’s next. And of course, we need to be able to say a whole lot of “no, thanks”. Some things are simply not for us. It is ok to be able to say it out loud.