Everything Else Is Extra

What matters? And what doesn’t?

Words by Andrew Rocha

My calendar was like a family-size bag of skittles. It was packed, color coded, and optimized for efficiency. I used the apps, checked off the boxes, read the books, and tried every technique I came across. From a productivity standpoint, I was gold.


I was busy and productive, which made me feel important and accomplished. Yet my heart told me a different story.

Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t have a heart attack or any life-shattering event change my ways. It was much less drastic. At my best, I was proud of my accomplishments. At my worst, I felt like a failure.


I turned to different apps, books, and techniques; anything that could give me the “right solution.” But the solution wasn’t in a tool; it could only be found within myself.

I began to observe, through trial and error, the weight of my self-imposed obligations. One might be able to do anything, but not everything. If everything is important, then nothing is important.

What matters, and what doesn’t?
What do you value and what do you need most?

I let go of the extensive planning; I aimed for quality over quantity. I’m intentional with my days, because I realize they’re limited. When unexpected things come up, it’s okay, because I have more space in my days to allow for the unexpected.

If nothing unexpected comes up, that’s okay too. If we spend our entire lives only on doing, then life will be done before we know it. We have permission to be, enjoy, live, and love. We have permission to live the way we want. Everything else is extra.

Andrew Rocha

Andrew runs the Successful Steps Blog, where he writes about achieving success one step at a time. When he isn’t writing, he can often be found walking, reading, or being in nature.

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