Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Putting things 'on hold'

We've all had those days (or even weeks!) when we are so busy. We have experienced times when we cannot simply find enough hours in the day to do all we need to do. During those times, we need to prioritize. We need to figure out what needs to be done NOW, and what can wait for a while.

Even when you have prioritized, there still seems to be too much to do! One of the things that I have noticed lately is that sometimes, life goes 'on hold' until other things are over. For example, if you have a big project that needs to be done, you might not have enough time to also go out with family or friends or to see a movie. So, you put everything else on hold until you finish that project.

But what happens when you are done the project? Do you actually find time to have fun and relax and do all that other stuff? Sometimes. But more often than not, you will notice that yet another thing has appeared in your life to replace that project. Now, you see that everything that was 'on hold' needs attention again! It gets overwhelming, to say the least. Maybe you ignored your health and you need to start eating well again. Or perhaps you stopped calling your family members and need to catch up with them. But it becomes difficult to do all of this!

Is there a solution to this 'on hold' dilemma? Maybe, and maybe not. Try as I might, it is humanly impossible to do everything at once, and to do it all well. That is why we need to priotize. Sure, I might not have time to (for example) play a game today, but once I finish my assignment, I will try to find time. Yes. I do not have the time now to go out with friends. But once I get my work hours done for the week, I can try to schedule something in. It is said over and over again, and we often downplay how important priortizing is. But, from experience, I can say that if you are not organized, your whole life will collapse into one ugly and tangled mess because of all you need to do.

It is true that there is always something important to do, and this is why some people have trouble making priorities. Others point out that if you are busy today with one thing, you will be busy tomorrow with another thing and never have fun. BUT, if you do all things in moderation and with a thoughful plan, it is not so bad. It really sucks that you cannot go out tonight, but your work takes priority. Next week, when you have more time, go for it! In another example, it may seem awful that you have no time to wacth your favourite show tonight. Maybe you can catch up with it tomorrow when you sick child feels well. Or maybe you can try to do it today, if you get everything else done.

Key points to take away? We all have times when we need to put some things 'on hold'. It is natural, and actually, sometimes it is necessary. What is most important is that you learn to regulate yourself and organize your time so that you can do what you have to do. This includes obligations, but also finding time for you. Don't forget that without feeling, eating, sleeping, and being well, you cannot achieve anything. A healthy life = healthy body + healthy mind + happiness + perseverance.

Think about it this way: when you call a company and they put you 'on hold', it may feel like it is taking forever for them to respond back to you. Sometimes, you will be listening on the phone to that annoying 'hold' music, and you get so frustrated. But if you hang up and give up, you will lose your place in line and have to start all over by calling them again. If you wait, however long and annoying that may be, you will eventually get answered. The same thing happens in our lives. During tough times, you may want to give up or stop doing what you are doing. But if you quit, you might miss out on some amazing things, and you might lose what you have already started. However, if you are PATIENT and you PERSEVERE, you will get there eventually. So, even if you feel like your life is 'on hold', be patient. Do not put that phone receiever done. Keep listening to that 'hold' music, Because usually, just when you are fed up and totally frustrated, someone picks up and the proboem is solved. Don't quit, don't give up, and don't stop fighting for your dreams.


  1. While I was doing my psychiatrist rotation, Our first encounter was a client who was depressed and his tress was many social issues .
    Our tutor took the opportunity to teach us how to do our job while keeping our self "Sane"
    Exactly as you said Marina
    He gave us tips how to manage our time
    1-Make sure you are healthy ,well rested ,eat well ,sleep well ,take time to have some fun, talk to a friend ,take a walk ,listen to music.
    1-Never underestimate your achievement but rather be proud of what you do
    3- Prioritize what you need to do, put on hold or "shelf it"/.He meant put things on the shelf for later if not a priority.
    4-Remember all of us have the same challenges "many things need to be done ,We can find enough time.
    5-Finally he said lower your expectation of your self, he meant you do not have to get more than 90% of the mark. We all graduated from med schools and all doctors and no difference between those who got 95% from those who just passed!!

    I liked my tutor so much as he pushed my sore button and made me feel confident in my ability.
    Now I keep things on hold ,I make my goals but I set them as reasonable achievable and realistic goal. I no longer set high goals that can not be achieved .I will no longer overwhelm my self .Keeping myself sane ,healthy and happy will help me to be the best doctor.

    Excellent post Marina

    Medical student

  2. I put every thing in my life on hold for one year and went to treatment IP and OP programs.
    Now I am recovered (thanks to your support and motivating me Marina).
    The recommendation that all professional gave me is put high priority to my physical and emotional wellbeing.
    I do believe (NOW) that if I am well ,I can do any thing I want and I can catch up with what I missed or lost when I was ill.

    yes Marina ,we need to put non urgent stuff on hold..


  3. I am too like you guys ,I learnt from you Marina that I put every thing on hold for the sake of my health.
    The only way I got to look at my happiness, health ,eating and sleeping is to make all of them my priority, every thing other than this were put on hold.
    Surprisingly this works ,as slowly I feel with my health improving, I am thinking better ,happier ,getting better sleep and can do something meaningful as reading good books ,following positive blogs as Marina 's blog etch


  4. Look at your wonderful equation

    Healthy life=healthy body +healthy brain+ happiness +perseverance!!
    You are absolutely right.
    My Dad before my psychology professors taught me and he used to and still telling me "Son if you have healthy body and healthy brain, you can achieve what you want and meet your goals sooner or later but if your body weak and tired you can not)
    Marina and dad are right is my professor.

    With my humble respect


  5. You know Marina
    I changed my approach so dramatically from years ago.
    I used to try to finish my work day by day and never I said I can not do and I used to go and help others but I felt exhausted and forgot my time for my self.
    I went to EAP help program at my work and they taught me how to say no and how to make priority and to put on hold things not urgent ,even emails .
    This made a big difference in my feelings .
    Please every body as Marina said ... Put on hold .... only do the essential and the rest can wait .


  6. Good Morning lovely Marina
    I put every thing on hold except any thing related my health. I am 76 yes but I want live healthy to 100.
    May God bless you .

    Sam Ibrahim
    Burnhamthorpe ,Mississauga

  7. I agree any thing can be on hold except our health.


  8. We are not doing good to ourselves and We are not fair to our humanity if We do not put things non urgent on hold.
    I graduated from law school recently and I was reading only the notes summary done by one friend of mine.
    I passed and soon I will practice .


  9. Yes Marina
    Without feeling well, eating well, sleeping well ,I can not achieve what I want to do .I do put on hold now things not priority. This relieve a lot of my worry


  10. For the sake of feeling good, I will put any thing on hold!!


  11. I admit it took me a lot of learning to know what I put on hold and what is needed and how to manage my time and keep my time for my self as a young girl needs to look beautiful and to have fun.
    I agree puting non urgent books to read ,chores to do ON HOLD made a big difference in calming down any stress


  12. I little weird (excuse me)
    I used to put every thing on hold ,my homework ,reading,study and duties.
    Only one thing I used to be number one priority for me,making sure taking care of my body (nutrition,rest ,sleep ,make up ,hair ,clothes ,movie,seeing boys etc)
    Lately I become more mature and now I am making list of priorites and I am looking after what is important and put on hold the rest .
    I have a job now and I need to keep my job!!!



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