Terrified To Look At Your Calendar? Ask Yourself This Question.

‘Who are you doing this for?’

Sergey Faldin 🇺🇦
4 min readMar 17

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Photo by Windows on Unsplash

Lately, I’ve been feeling overwhelmed. Which is to say, I’ve been afraid of my calendar. Its colourful mosaic (yes, I am one of those people who colour-codes event types: red is for important, green is for self-education and wellbeing, blue is for work, etc.) stares at me with a stern look and judges me for not doing everything on time.

The worst part of it is that 80% of my calendar events aren’t even things I need to do — they’re things I want to do, which means I am the only one responsible for feeling overwhelmed (which, in turn, makes me feel guilty and overwhelmed; how about that!).

One of the hardest parts of freelancing is not that you have a lot of work but a lot of different work. Switching back and forth between projects takes an enormous toll on your mental capacity. And when you add self-study courses, personal commitments, and various wants and needs to the mix, not to mention your actual work (let’s not forget about paying the bills, alright), getting overwhelmed is pretty much inevitable.

When I get overwhelmed, I get stressed and annoyed (mostly with myself), and my frustration is visible — smoke comes out of both of my ears, like in Disney cartoons — or palpable by those who live with me.

‘Why did you bang that door so hard?’

‘I didn’t bang the door! You’re the one who’s always picking on me!’

So on, and so forth. Pretty dysfunctional passive-aggressive behaviour.

For a long time, I only knew how to deal with feeling overwhelmed by suffering through it. Life is tough, I told myself. Deal with it.

If I want to achieve what I want — and as you’ve probably noticed, yours truly is pretty ambitious — I needed to clench my teeth and move forward, I told myself. Momentum will take you places. Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional. No pain, no gain. Other BS bumper sticker slogans.

Ugh.

Long story short that didn’t help. I only kept feeling even more overwhelmed and pretty much sick of myself. Then I did some therapy. Now a simple question helps me deal with feeling overwhelmed. It’s trivial but…

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Sergey Faldin 🇺🇦

Honest thoughts. Unpopular opinions. Not necessarily true or smart. | The Guardian, Al Jazeera, Meduza | muckrack.com/sfaldin | Subscribe: sergeys.substack.com