Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Keeping all the balls in the air

It never ceases to amaze me how busy things can get around here. Granted, I do take a lot of extraneous things on which is probably not the smartest of ideas, but there are days where I think of just how many things I have to do and I’m instantly anxious, almost to the point of despair. I don’t know about you, but when I’m faced with that hopelessness, I tend to just shut down. Since I can’t accomplish it all, I wind up doing even less.

Yesterday, I wanted to write (and I did) but any number of things kept getting in the way. Emails had to be sent and answered, I worked on two design projects, I had to sort music for a gig I had last night, some kitchen work had to be done, and then I was out from 6:00 until 11:30 playing. The issue is not what I managed to do, but what I didn’t manage to do.

Eventually getting into bed after a small amount of post-gig winding down, it hit me that I’d managed to fall even farther behind, even though I was on the go from 6:45 a.m. to midnight. That job jar had just as much in it and more would be going in as soon as I got up.

What to do?

Well, my motto these days seems to have become “keep on keeping on”, but truthfully? That isn’t going to get me out of this. There simply is too much to do. Chipping away at a mountain is fine — unless the mountain is growing faster than you’re able to chip.

One thing I can do is to maximize my time. Part of that will come from increasing the time I’m working. For the foreseeable future, my days will have to be longer. And no goofing off in the evenings watching something on Netflix, or reading, no matter how brain dead I feel.

The second thing is to not take anything new on. (Work doesn’t count here because that money is needed!) If someone asks for something, whether it be help, advice, or a new project, I’ll just have to learn to say no. That’s always been an issue for me. I’m naturally one of those people who wants to help whenever asked.

The reason for this post topic is I’m looking for any stratagems loyal readers of Type M might have to combat extreme “busy-ness”. Believe me, I need all the help I can get keeping those balls in the air!


Catherine Astolfo said...

Learning to say no is the hardest thing. I suffer from yesitis too. Practice in the mirror and maybe that will help. I also make lists and check off the tasks as I do them. Feels great, though I'm not sure it keeps me from feeling overwhelmed at times.

Rick Blechta said...

Thanks, Cathy. Yeah, I do say yes far too often (maybe that's why we both taught at one time or another) more as a knee-jerk reaction without my brain being fully engaged. Later, when the realization that I should never have said that stares me in the face, I feel compelled to carry through, simply because I gave my word.

Perhaps what I should practise is saying, "Let me think about that and get back to you," rather than just saying no.

As for lists, I do that, but when you look at it getting longer rather than shorter, it gets even more depressing. ;)

What I really need is for two or three fewer hours of sleep being needed without feeling as if I've been hit repeatedly in the face with a shovel.

Thanks for weighing in!

Eileen Goudge said...

I'm waiting on the app that makes more hours in the day :) In the meantime, I chip away at the mountain, like you. I'm careful about who or what I say yes to, and that goes for an excess of social media and/or blogging. Adding to my mountain is the 2 hours 3 X a week I put in at the physical therapist's to correct the ills caused by all those years of sitting at the computer. You can't win.

Rick Blechta said...

Yes, you CAN win. Mario gave us the answer in his most recent post.

We need minions! Clever ones. Minions that can answer emails, do social media, cook, clean, answer the phone.

I also think I'm going to open an office in Bulgaria and stock it with even more minions. I hear they're cheap in that country.

Why didn't I think of this sooner?? I might even be able to take a day off now and then...

Eileen Goudge said...

Bulgaria. I should just move there. Cost of living is cheap, so I could afford to step down from the mountain. Except I'd have to learn the language. One more thing to do. Sigh.

Rick Blechta said...


One only needs a minion who speaks English as well as Bulgarian. Easy-peasy!

Helpful Rick