I’m swamped. Totally overwhelmed.
It’s not just me, is it? I don’t think so. I talk to a lot of writers, my colleagues included. It seems we all bite off more than we can chew.
Funny thing (for me) is, I’m a planner. An organizer. I pay close attention to every excruciating detail of my life. If I can’t control it to the Nth degree, I go nuts.
Yet here I am, writing this after the post should have already posted, because I lost track of my post date. I shouldn’t have; it’s right there on the schedule. But I had an unplanned (yet welcome) family visitor over the weekend, and on Sunday, I was exhausted. I forgot to look at the calendar before the weekend started and after my visitor left. And now I’m late. And I’m mortified.
This has been happening more and more often. What am I supposed to do? What’s a writer to do?
We don’t (at least, I don’t) want to pass by opportunities, but there are only so many hours in the day.
My suggestions (ones I know I’ll never take):
- Be realistic and blunt with yourself.
- Look at your calendar, see what you can fit in, and politely decline the other options.
- Ask for extensions when necessary.
- Seek assistance from colleagues and friends.
- Build a buffer into your schedule so you don’t find yourself scrambling the weeks/days/hours before something is due.
I took a new job this year. It’s a fantastic opportunity. But I’ve noticed I’m now stretched pretty thin. It’s a good position to be in, but not when I start missing things.
Now, with the extra preparation I need to make for the EU’s new regulations (see Joan’s post regarding the GDPR rules), I find myself researching, reading, and writing things I didn’t budget time to do. (See the bullet above regarding buffers.)
Stuff comes up. Life happens. My daughter just came home from college, throwing a wrench into our schedule. (Not that I would have it any other way. She was supposed to be out of state this summer, but that job fell through. I’m sorry for her, but thrilled she came home.) I had a family visit I hadn’t planned for. Allergies are kicking my… butt, making thinking a chore. (My head is constantly pounding.)
So, in addition to the suggestions above, I’ll put it to you:
What do you do to stay on target, hit your goals, and not go crazy?
I know this isn’t a Friday question post, but I’d love to know what everyone else is doing, especially in the summer (when everyone wants to vacation, or at least get outside and have fun).
I’ll be back to my scheduled series next time, but this time? Let’s discuss management strategies. I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts.