3 Costs Of Trying To Do It All (and what you might want to try instead)


As a culture, we have accepted the belief that we have to do it all. As women entrepreneurs, we struggle to find balance with our businesses, our families, our friends, and taking time for ourselves. Yet, balance continues to elude us.

We wear busy like a badge, proud of our attempts to keep all our spinning plates in the air.

But when one spins out of control and crashes, it seems like they all follow suit, and we are left staring at the broken fragments of our life.

The costs of trying to do it all can be grouped into three main areas:

1. Unsustainable Pressure // 

Whether it’s internal or external pressure, we can only handle so much. Our bodies don’t understand the difference between real or imagined stress, which causes them to kick into overdrive. Long-term stress has consequences, and regardless of whether you can see them now or not, they eventually make their way to the surface. Whether they are physical, emotional, or mental consequences; our health is more important than the pressure to do it all.

2. Decreased Quality //

Typically, the more we try to do, the more we see the quality of our work decrease. This can lead to burn out, losing out on promotions, disappointed clients — the list goes on. It creates a cycle where we want to do our best, but never feel like we have enough time to do things at the level we expect of ourselves. But then we beat ourselves up for not having enough time, and tell ourselves we’ll do better next time. However we add another project to our plate, and have even less time. So the cycle repeats itself.

3. Unhappy People //

When we try to do it all, those closest to us are usually on the receiving end of our overwhelmed life. This can lead to an increase in arguments, creating distance, and developing misunderstandings. The unmet expectations of ourselves can roll over onto them, and cause a lot of frustration for everyone.

Before I lose you into the depths of despair, please know that it doesn’t have to be this way! There is another way to live. One that doesn’t require trying to do it all. It does however require some bravery, focus, and determination.

Here’s what you might want to try instead:

1. Clearly Prioritize //

Many times the pressure we experience is self-inflicted, simply because we have not clearly prioritized our projects, clients, and activities. This is one of the most important things we can learn how to do. If this is something you struggle with, start by listing everything you need to do, adding deadlines where possible, and then creating a numbered list based on the most important and urgent tasks. Start with the number one priority, and work on it until it’s done before you move on.

Quick tips:

  • Set realistic deadlines

  • Focus on one thing at a time

2. Create Boundaries //

Greg McKeown, in his book “Essentialism”, addresses the concept of creating boundaries and saying no in a great way. “If it isn’t a clear yes, then it’s a clear no.” Learning how to say no allows us to give our best to those things we say yes to. Whether that means having official office hours, turning down social events, or scheduling a regular night in; creating boundaries shows us and others what we value.

Quick tips:

  • Learn to say no

  • Create boundaries for work hours

3. Be Present //

I believe that creating lasting relationships starts with learning how to be present. It is so easy in our culture to always be superficially engaged in conversations, due to the many opportunities for distractions. Regularly putting down our phones and other technology, allows us to be present in the moment. Spend dedicated time with the people closest to you and see those relationships blossom.

Quick tips:

  • Enjoy a social media free weekend

  • Go a whole day (or two) without any work on a regular basis

If you feel overwhelmed with your schedule and struggle to fit everything into each day, I want to help. My free 5-day email course 5 Mindset Shifts That Will Save You Time™ will show you how simple changes in your mindsets can make a huge impact on your schedule.

Kathryn Hofer is passionate about helping others live a quality life. With over a decade of experience executing live events, organizing teams and projects, and running a non-profit, she has focused her attention on educating others about the value of planning. When she’s not planning or singing, you can find her curled up with a good book, a cup of tea and dark chocolate. Kathryn lives in Kitchener, Canada with her husband. They love travelling and eating delicious food. Find out more about Kathryn at www.modern-planner.com

you might also like:

did you get your copy of issue 05 yet?