“I have too much to do” keeps running through my mind.
As I get older and time begins to fly by at an unbelievable pace, I am thinking about all of the things I would like to do before time runs out. So I’m doing. Unfortunately, all of my projects have steep learning curves and require a lot of thought and time. Dan Miller recommends that we should always put one hobby/project down if we’re going to pick another one up. This is good advice.
I currently have three main projects and a bunch of little ones, a ton of research I want to get started on and a long list of books I would like to read. Needless to say every week it seems I am further behind.
I have trashed a big project in the past that I started and was carrying around emotionally but wasn’t actually putting anytime into, the knowledge that it was there and I was supposed to be doing something with it was draining my energy and distracting me from focusing on other things. It was my first try at something on my own and at first I thought it was a great idea, then as time went by I began to realize that if this actually did work it would take a lot of time and effort and wouldn’t pay that well. As hard as it was to shut it down, it was a huge relief and weight off of me when I finally did.
The only problem was that with that emotional/mental freedom I found, I was daily fighting the urge to start another thing from another idea. I don’t believe I could sit and not try my hand at making something work if I, um…tried. So after months of research, thinking and making sure I wasn’t restricting my ability to change and adjust as found my voice I dove into my next big thing, this blog.
Since I don’t want to toss all the stuff I am currently unable to accomplish, I am going to try prioritize the important things and leave the rest on the “hope I can get to it” pile. I believe that if I look at the things I spend my time on and honestly answer the question of, “Is this a good investment of my time and will it materialize or help me grow or is it a pipe dream and a waste of energy?” and toss out the things that will never work, put the things that might or are less important on the back-burner, I will know that at the end of the week I may have not accomplished everything I wanted to but I did accomplish the most important things. If I still find myself saying that I have too much to do I will have to find ways to become more efficient at doing them.
I’m going follow Jon Acuff’s advice and put all the high energy, focused, creative work at my first thing in the morning spot. In order to free up my evenings so I’m not sitting at my computer every minute I’m home, I’m also going to wake up earlier in order to get all of this done. (Referred to as “being selfish at 5:00am” also from Jon Acuff)
I have not done a time audit yet but I believe one is in order, I don’t generally watch a lot of TV but I have been guilty of chasing rabbit trails online when reading articles or doing research, I believe being disciplined in this area would dramatically improve my efficiency. It’s just so hard!!!
I volunteer as web admin and content creator for my church’s website, since this is a once or twice a week time commitment it is easy to spend half an hour getting back up to speed on what I was working on, I have found that using Workflowy as a virtual dry erase board, recommend by the Time Management Ninja, has helped to eliminate wasted time as well as served as a great place to jot down things I would like to look into doing in the future.
Time flies, I’m going to pre-determine the things that must be done and be disciplined enough to do those, and if anything doesn’t happen, it is the thing I have already decided won’t matter if it is left undone anyways.