Opinion: Beware, overachievers

Mica Pflug

School, social life and career choices.

If you’re reading this, these three things are probably some of the most prominent aspects of your current life. The way these aspects unfold largely depends on the amount of work you’re willing to put into each of the three categories.

When the choice is made to devote copious amounts of time to each, sacrificing either sleep, proper meals or sanity, drastic changes may occur. And by drastic, it’s really something like getting used to having two cups of coffee in the morning instead of one to get you through your day, or scheduling time at 11:30 p.m. to finish an assignment because that’s when you finally find a free moment.

Either way, filling your schedule can be rewarding, but it’s also important to consider how doing so may affect your personal well-being.

For example, when your list of worries includes four to five classes, three extracurriculars, two jobs and a partridge in a pear tree, you may find yourself constantly busy.

You spend your time studying, socializing, volunteering for this, applying for that, working at your job and remembering to shower, and sometimes it may feel like there’s just not enough time in the day.

For someone who enjoys being a busy bee, this method of living life isn’t so bad. You bounce around throughout the day from this appointment to that class to this shift to that coffee date, and at the end of it all, it may feel like ages have passed. You reflect on all you’ve accomplished throughout the last 15 hours of your life, and the feeling becomes addicting.

It is so much more motivating to get up and be a person when you have real-life responsibilities you need to tend to. Because of the overachiever’s obsession with retrospective accomplishments and the rush of the pursuit of responsibility, it sometimes ends up being too easy to be too busy.

If you’re someone who falls into this trap of high-functioning behavior and you overstuff your schedule to squeeze all you can out of every day, it’s OK. You’re on the right track by having a mindset that enjoys being busy and ultimately striving to be successful.

The only downfall is when that desire becomes too overwhelming, eventually stacking too much on your plate and leaving you to figure out when you have time to breathe.

Even if this sounds like you, there are fairly easy ways to tackle this sort of problem. One might be just to simply free up parts of your schedule, whether that includes dropping out of a club, working less hours or maintaining specified time for taking care of yourself.

If you don’t want to eliminate something from your life completely, having one free afternoon you can dedicate to an uninterrupted nap, or a morning you may greet with a slowly sipped coffee and some life reflection, can sometimes do the trick.

Being busy can be a great thing, but like most good things, is best in moderation.

Mica Pflug is a columnist. Contact her at [email protected]