Refuse bustle, demand routine | The Lariat Baylor
By Thomas Hudson | Guest Contributor
Being busy is part of the college experience; everyone is busy, so move on. That’s the message we hear from peers, teachers, and social media when we start to feel overwhelmed. With school, Greek life, work, staying healthy, managing a social life, and all the other things in life that demand your attention, keeping busy is easy. The alternative to being busy – or giving up on something you love to do, disappointing others, falling behind or missing something – is something we are not ready to do.
Maybe that shouldn’t be the case. And if you Refused to be busy and overwhelmed with commitments and instead focused on your goals and made meaningful progress towards your success?
Greg McKeown, in his book “Essentialism: the disciplined pursuit at least”, explains, “The Way of the Essentialist is not about doing more in less time. It is not about doing less. It’s about doing only the right things. It is about challenging the basic assumption of “we can have it all” and “I must do it all” and replacing it with the pursuit of “the right thing, in the right way, at the right time”. It’s about taking back control of our own choices about where to spend our time and energies instead of giving others implicit permission to choose for us.
From the first week back from vacation, when we typically drop our New Year’s resolutions, we’ve hoped to become more productive individuals in the face of the chaos of the school year and its various time demands. I challenge you not to give up the fight for control of your time.
How can I do it all? The truth is you can’t. The good news: you don’t have to. I also suggest The Daily Stoic Podcast as a resource for managing control of your life. Epictetus, the ancient Stoic philosopher, mentioned ways to navigate things beyond our control in life.
“The main task in life is simply this: to identify and separate matters so that I can tell myself clearly which ones are beyond my control and which have to do with choices I actually control.” said Epictetus.
Take a moment, or as long as it takes, and pause to really think, what is your goal? This is the most important thing you want to achieve this semester. After that, methodically review what you need to cut out of your life to achieve that goal. Remember that there are probably more things than you think that can be removed.
When we remove the non-essential, focus on what’s within our control, and understand that we can’t do everything, we allow ourselves to do what’s really important: the essential. Establish routines in your life that allow you to be a strong student, a good friend, and a healthy person with limited effort.
nick naked, CEO of Bare Performance Nutrition and ultra-marathoner, puts it well: “There is a switch in our brain that goes from sedentary to disciplined and motivation allows us to turn it on and off. You turn it on for a few days and then give up. I challenge you to flip that switch, activate your self-discipline, and then flip the switch.
I believe in the power of routine and pursuing the essentials, and I know that within you lies the power to make tremendous progress towards your goals. I leave you with one last quote that I think about daily from Jocko Willink, who co-wrote “Extreme Ownership: How the U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win.”
“Discipline equals freedom.”