Just read ‘A finger in every pie’, by Wendy Harmer in Hindustan Times (June 13, 2013). The article is reprinted from The Guardian. In the article, Harmer describes her experiences as an ‘everythingist’, who she defines as ‘the sort of person who is greedy for the benefit of all new experiences, but unwilling to put the work in to fully commit to any of them’. As I was reading the article, I suddenly realised that voila! I am also an ‘everythingist’. Till now, I considered myself to be a multi tasker who enjoyed doing hundred things at a time. Even as I am writing this, I have before me two newspapers open before me with the op-ed pages selected for reading. I also have my mail box open on the computer and am also checking my phone for new messages if any. I don’t know if I would be able to read both pages today but try I will. Now! I agree with Harmer when she says, “Everythingism is a deadly combination of perfectionism plus narcissism plus utter laziness.” So true, I would say! First, a person who attempts to do hundred things at a time is one who brims with over confidence but he is non-committal because he does not assure that he would at least try to complete the works taken up by him, and third, he is so overwhelmed with so much of tasks around him that he feels tired just by looking at the heap he is surrounded by. It does not help saying that he himself chose the situation.
But I wouldn’t blame the ‘everythingist’ because his motive is honest. He sincerely believed that he will be able to manage everything but that he fails to do so is another matter. I remember while studying for my exams (both school and college), how I would spread different subject textbooks beside me, anxious not to lose out on studying one subject because of the other. But I ended up sleeping looking at the huge heap before me! But my intention was honest, you see!
Harmer concludes by apologising to all those who are not everythingist for she had once considered them boring. She says, “they are one of those people who gets stuff done and gets over it - I realise now that you have the greatest freedom of all.” But I would not apologise for being an everythingist at all – but yes, I will try to finish at least one of the many activities that I list out. But hoarding things to do, will continue for sure! And that means I will continue to be an everythingist – after all, it is not everyone’s cup of tea to be an everythingist! You need talent for that, you see!