You Can’t Get Everything Done

We cling to a belief that will only wear us out — the belief that we can get everything done. If we only work a little bit harder. Maybe a few more hours a week. If we delegate better it will be fine. If we only plan better, or skip our lunch break, or work more efficiently.

Yet it’s not going to happen. No matter what, you will never get everything done.

And honestly, that’s great news.

What?! Why would that be great news? There are problems to solve. Children to care for. Bills to pay. Laundry to do. Classes to pass. Projects to complete. Trips to be taken. Goals to be accomplished.

And yet, the clock on the wall stares back at you, reminding you of something you refuse to admit.

The clock always wins.

Isn’t it frustrating to hear that? Part of us wants to rebel at the thought with arguments of how much we are doing recently. How we are on track to get everything done. How we don’t really need to sleep that long, and there’s probably more we could get done each day with better discipline and organization. It’ll work out. It’ll all get done.

But it won’t.

Statements like that only point out how flawed our perspective is. We think we can get everything done.


You won’t get everything done. Instead, you will wear yourself out doing extra tasks because you’re driven or obligated to do so.

And now you’re weary, exhausted, cranky, depressed, physically ill, dehydrated, scatter-brained, and entirely unproductive. And there’s still a hundred (if not a thousand) more things left on your list.

Doesn’t that sound like fun? Now let’s do it again tomorrow. I mean, if you had worked a little harder, you could have gotten it all done, right?

No! Let that idea go. Get rid of it. Instead, dwell on this and see if it will ever be possible to do everything you want to do. You must accept this before you will see the need to be incredibly intentional with your goals and activities. And the need for rest.

You won’t be able to do it all whether you admit it or not, so you might as well admit it. Admit to yourself that you cannot do everything.

Now take a slow, deep breath, and begin to realize how freeing it is. And once you have done that, you can focus on how to do the things that are most important.

Is it freeing to think of our inability to get everything done? Or is it frustrating?