SayKiat / Essays /

On Doing More

A gang of Kuromi with different kind of responsibility written on them, surrounding a Kuromi that represents "me"

A reminder essay on battling with the notion of "I could do more", feeling overwhelmed, escaping mediocrity and my approach to do more (with less).

A few weeks ago, I found myself overwhelmed by life. I was juggling a demanding day job, trying to meet new people, working on a new side project, and still finding time to explore new places and hobbies in town. Additionally, my attitude towards the gym had become less serious since the previous year. It seemed I was content with simply maintaining fitness instead of pushing myself to improve, i.e. I only wanted to keep myself fit instead of becoming fitter.

I believe this is a relatable experience. At some point, we all settle into the autopilot in some areas of life. We might still have goals, but our habits dictate (or even limit) our results. Over time, this can lead to dissatisfaction with the mediocrity we’ve created for ourselves, feeling that we’re not living up to our full potential.

Then we start to ask, “Is this the best I can do?“.

This isn’t to say that the only way to overcome mediocrity is to constantly work. Instead, it’s about making the most of what we do every day, even when we’re not working. Some example:

  • At the gym, are you aiming for a specific rep count (like 4x12) or are you pushing yourself to lift until failure?
  • When you get a full night’s sleep, are you simply resting, or are you aiming for the best possible recovery within those 7 hours?
  • Do you maintain your health by eating anything that sounds healthy, or do you understand that diet is individualized and needs to be tailored to your specific needs?

One change that has significantly improved my mental health and productivity is implementing “no-work Saturdays.” Even now, I sometimes struggle to understand why adequate rest is important for replenishing motivation and improving work quality (which can lead to a bit of guilt about taking time off). But my intention is clear: I want to avoid burnout while juggling multiple priorities. The key to this is achieving a healthy balance between work and leisure.

Some people call this approach “achieving more by doing less”. I see it as how intense can you rejuvenate when given the chance.

Ah, is the lesson here to treat everything you do as an opportunity?

One thing I do know - I love a good night sleep, but I’m more grateful that I’m able to wake up the next day and live up to my potential … whatever potential meant to me.

There’s no comment section, yet. If you find my essays interesting, reach out to me personally via email or LinkedIn! I’m always open to talking about ideas.