As some of you know, I am quite a busy person. I lead the Creative Writing Group at my school, I am part of the writing mentor programme, I am in the board of a students’ association and I am a member of another one. Besides that I am a full-time student, try to maintain my friendships as well as I can and update this blog at least once a week. “How the hell do you do it all?” is a question I have been asked more than once. Well, my friends, the answer is simple: preparation.
“How is that simple?” You’re right; it’s not. I believe preparation is more of a process than an action – it’s something you need to learn. It’s something I had to learn, and you can only learn by doing it. Teach yourself to think ahead of time – will I have time to write blog posts three weeks from now? Will I remember to make Facebook posts twice a week? How many hours will I be able to spend on mentoring? Once you figure out how to think like this, preparation will come a little bit easier to you.
And no – it won’t always go right. I know a lot of people perceive me as a very joyful and motivated person, but if you’d ask my closest friends they would be able to tell you about all the times I just wanted to give up. It’s only normal that you will have those moments if you choose to take on this much. But you need to get it together and try to think analytically about what went wrong: what didn’t work out and why didn’t it? How can I prevent this from happening in the future? As long as you’re able to think like this, you will learn from the mistakes you made.
On top of that, you won’t find one way of preparing that will always work for you, because every day will be different and not a single thing you have to do will always be the same. There will always be something that doesn’t entirely work out, and you will have to learn to readjust your plans when this occurs. If you stick stubbornly to one idea, you might get yourself into trouble and your preparation might end up giving you more work instead of relieving you from some. Like I mentioned before, preparation is a process, not an action.
Why would I do it to myself, you wonder? Why take on so much work when life could be so much easier if I only had a few things to focus on? You have a point. Maybe if I didn’t take on so much, I’d excel academically. Or maybe I’d finally finish that one story I’m working on. Or maybe I’d be able to be a superb mentor. But I ask you: what’s the value of excellence in one specific field, if you can only achieve that excellence by dropping everything else? If you could, through preparation, have it all – why wouldn’t you?
I prefer my hectic life.