Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Getting Priorities Straight

A friend of mine tweeted me the other day:

I want 2 c ur schedule sometime. U've got to be the busiest person I've ever known & ur always so positive! How do u do it?

My answer?

I lie:-)

In all seriousness, I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I do have a ton of things I try to do well. I am a wife, a mom of now 4 little girls, I work full-time, I write as much as I can, I blog three times a week, I try to go to conferences, I study writing craft, I'm involved in a crit group as well as a local writer's group, not to mention a long list of other smaller things I try to do outside of writing.

Sometimes I take a step back and look at my life. What am I spending time on that I don't need to? I complain about having too little time, but I also know that I don't always use the time I have wisely.

And an even bigger problem, my priorities get so very out of whack so easily. I "do" everything, but nothing gets done like I want it to. I don't spend the time on my writing that I'd like, or spend time proofing and tweaking my blogs to make them sound picture-perfect. My husband gets my leftover energy as well. My kids complain because I don't pay them enough attention, and they're right. I don't. My house most days is NOT spic n span, even though my husband does try to help out with it. I go to work oh-so-very tired and whereas I probably give more effort to my job than I do anything else in my life right now (it does pay the bills you know!) I still could do much better. And the five minutes I spend every morning reading my Bible just doesn't feel adequate by any stretch.

In short, I've overextended myself, which is so very much typical Krista. This has left a very tired, pregnant woman who just wants to sleep all day!

My problem: I don't know what to eliminate. Every once in a while, I contemplate taking a writing break. And I do take short breaks, during busy weeks or months, and allow myself a breather. But to quit for longer than that? I don't think that's the answer, not at the moment, because it's one of the things God is calling me to, not away from.

So I'm starting to look at the little things I do that waste time, or the things that aren't absolutely necessary. Internet time is a big one. Blogging is another one. I've already cut down on the number of blogs I read, even though it pained me SO very much to do so. I feel like I'm missing out!

So, here are a few things I'm doing to help manage my time so I can give priority to 1.) God 2.) Family 3.) Work 4.) Writing.

  • Cut down blogging from 3 x's per week to 2. For the rest of March, I'll post on Monday and Friday's only. In April, I'll relook at it to see if I need to adjust anymore.
  • I will turn off Twitter/Facebook/Internet while I write.
  • I will manage my commitments. I HATE telling people no, but I'm learning that I'd rather to do less things well, then do many half-baked.
  • Bring my lunch to work at least 3 x per week and use the hour to write (unlike my habit of late of going out to eat most every day! This will help my writing, my wallet, and my weight!)
I'm sure there are a TON of other things I can do, but well, if I have too MANY goals I'll be overwhelmed by goals, ha!!

So, please pray for me as I try to re-prioritize my life. I REALLY want to have good habits by the time baby number 4 arrives in August.

Discussion: What are things you've done in your life to reorganize your priorities? Have you had to give something up that you loved in order to gain sanity?

16 comments:

Katie Ganshert said...

Oh girl, I SO feel you. I'm a wife, mom, writer, and full-time teacher, so I SO feel your pain with the prioritizing. I will just say this.....this extended blogging break I've been on has been SO liberating!!! At first it was tough, but now I'm having a hard time convincing myself to get back to it.

I hope you get things figured out, Krista girl. :)

Andrea said...

Blessings and prayers, andrea

Jessica said...

Hey girl, man, you're SO busy. I have to agree with your run-down here on priorities. Blogging is the first thing to go when I'm too busy.
I hope you find a relaxed pace for your life right now. I don't think your writing should go, but you might need to cut meetings or something. :-( Hard to say...

Jody Hedlund said...

Krista, thank you for being so honest. I think you're reflecting what so many bloggers feel. And at this point, I really feel you're wise to back down to twice a week. It's ok. Take some time to enjoy you're sweet daughters and hubby, and enjoy being pregnant. You will get more energy eventually, and when you're kids are a little older, they won't need you quite as much. And you'll have more time for writing. I'm entering that new phase as my youngest is finally growing more independent! You won't give up your dream or your writing, but you'll take the pressure off yourself for a while.

Catherine West said...

It's hard to get it all done. I think you are ahead of the game for even trying!
Just don't stress. I think you have your priorities in the right place!

Wendy @ All in a Day's Thought said...

Sounds like you are making some wise decisions to protect your time. I had to take a look at all the websites I was writing for and cut back. It got out of control. A fellow writer friend would ask and if it appealed I responded, "Sign me up." Until eventually I was writing for over six sites.

Out. of. control.
~ Wendy

destrella said...

For your sanity and health, you have to make changes when necessary. Glad you are doing this rather than going crazy down the road, :O)

patti said...

Krista,
Praise God for helping you with these difficult decisions!

I am also taking a hard look at things. The Holy Spirit is a great counselor!

One thing I'm trying, which you have mentioned, is that peeking at FB and e-mails while writing. Slapping those hands.

Setting blog time for recharge of creative juices.

Your "place" always does that, dear friend!!

Thanks for sharing a common dilemma!!!

Patti

Tina Lynn said...

I'm thinking I might just steal from you. You already have it all planned out for me:D

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Good for you, Krista! I'm so proud of you! And no worries--we will be here!

I'm talking about perspective next week on my blog... kind of deals with what you were discussing. I love how so many of us are in the same place with writing/blogging/time management.

Happy writing!

Jill Kemerer said...

It's hard to say no. I'm in a position to help people, so I try to accomodate them. But, like you said, it can get to be too much.

Keli Gwyn said...

Kudos to you, Krista, for taking the necessary steps to get your priorities in order. I wish you success--and a delicious sense of peace.

lotusgirl said...

Good luck. It's so hard finding that perfect balance.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Krista -

I don't know how you do it. Cutting back on Internet/blogging time is painful, but often necessary.

Right now, I'm home but still find myself in a time crunch. Setting aside devotional, writing, and family time is key. Everything else has to fit in between.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Krista Phillips said...

Thanks everyone for the input!! I'm SO glad I'm not the only one!

I'm praying God helps me find the balance I need, and I'm believing He will!

Jason said...

I decided I will quit work for the day at the time I'm supposed to quit for the day at least three days a week. No more working until 6-7pm every night.