1. You’re going to do your best work with a clear mind. You don’t want to skip meals and miss out on hours of sleep in order to get more accomplished throughout the day. Chances are, you’ll do a much better job on each individual task if you take care of yourself, if you clear your head, if you put yourself into a healthy state of mind. Remember, quality matters more than quantity. You don’t want to check every single item off your to-do list, only to realize you put fifty percent of effort into each task instead of one-hundred percent. Take your time. Don’t rush yourself.
2. Your work isn’t the only worthwhile thing about you. You have to learn to stop feeling like you’re a failure if you don’t get a million things done each day. You have to stop pushing yourself past your own limits. You should be proud of yourself for working hard — but your whole life shouldn’t be about work. You should give yourself time to relax, too. You should stop thinking of your free time as more time to get stuff done. Sometimes, you should literally be doing nothing. You should let yourself enjoy the calm instead of rushing to fill it.
3. Setting goals is a good idea — but you should stay flexible. If you want to work off a certain amount of calories each day or write a certain number of pages or study for a certain amount of hours, that’s great. It’s smart to have a schedule. It’s smart to have a plan. However, not every single day is going to be productive. On the days when you get a little less done than you’d hoped, you have to go easy on yourself. You can’t feel like a screwup. You have to learn to accept the fact that some days you’re going to get extra done and some days you’re going to do a whole lot less. They’ll balance out in the end, so there’s no reason to stress.
4. Comparing yourself to others is only going to make you more miserable. You are a completely different person than your friends, your peers, your siblings, your supposed competition. You can’t expect yourself to accomplish as much as they accomplish at the same time in life as they accomplish it. You have different needs. You have different skills. You have different connections. You’re on your own journeys. Comparing yourself will only make you feel like you’re doing something wrong, and chances are, you’re doing just fine.
5. You deserve a break. You might feel like you haven’t earned the opportunity to rest. You might feel like you have to do more to prove yourself. You might feel like you can wait to relax once you’ve accomplished every single one of your goals. But you cannot procrastinate when it comes to taking care of yourself. Everyone deserves a rest. Life isn’t easy. It can take a toll on you and you need to reset yourself. You need to recharge. You need to rest before you burn yourself out.