It can be hard to acknowledge to yourself, let alone anyone else, that you have taken on too much. That the workload you thought you could handle was dragging you down and making you less productive across the board. But it is important to see that. To acknowledge the exhaustion, the forgetfulness, the lack of motivation. These are all signs that something has to give.
But, how do you decide what to let go of, when it all feels important. The best thing to do is write out your goal, what is it you are working toward? Then write out all the things you have undertaken, your job, school, extracurricular, family responsibilities, etc. Once everything is down on paper organize those commitments into categories, the ones you can’t step away from, the ones that have more flexibility. When you figure out what you absolutely need, then look at the ones you have left, where can you let something go, something significant enough alone to free up some time (stress) or a few things that when added together will release enough tension.
The answer isn’t always clear, even at this point. But consider each of those things in terms of your goal. How are these going to contribute to you getting there? Don’t be afraid to reach out for help when it comes to this part, to family, to friends, professionals. Ask the hard questions, explain where you are and work through the issue together.
One of the best things to do is to reach out to industry professionals, regardless of what industry it is. If you want to be a writer, a journalist, if you want to get on with a specific company, find someone that is willing to talk with you and lay it out there. Say, this is my end game, this is what I am trying to do to get there, are these activities going to help me achieve my goal? Which of these are the most important to making progress? It is important to understand that not everyone will have an answer, maybe no one can have a definitive answer, but they will be able to shed light on what you are trying to accomplish. They can guide you and mentor you forward. Gather as much information you can and then make an informed decision. Let go of something. The more you can direct your focus the more information you will be able to gather, learn, and grow.
Letting go of something doesn’t mean you have to let go of it forever. It just means that for right now, this isn’t the best course for you to be taking, right now you need to focus on something else. There may be a time when you come back to what you let go of, and when you do you’ll know the timing is right because you will be excited about it, able to focus on it, and most important you’ll be able to enjoy the process.
After letting go, there is an incredible feeling of freedom, a weight that’s been lifted, maybe a hint of remorse, but overall a sense of relief.