Are you trying to do too much?

in Editor's Corner


Since it’s inventory/re-prioritization month, and because I was feeling particularly overwhelmed today (last night to you now) I thought I’d make a list of everything I am trying to do and ask myself if it’s too much. A part of me thinks it shouldn’t be, that I should be doing more, even. The mental image? Slugging down Red Bull at midnight and carrying on. What is wrong with this picture!?

  • bizchickblogs
  • Uncorporate Blogging
  • Training new employee
  • Work for existing clients
  • Working to get new clients
  • Organizing the home office better
  • Church
  • Church choir
  • Tucson networking
  • Finagling a night out somehow
  • Looking for a babysitter
  • Figuring out how to afford the new babysitter
  • Working on three year old son’s hitting issue at school
  • Working on three year old son’s toy-sharing issue at school
  • Get insurance straight so three year old son can get his bazillion and a half fillings taken care of
  • Budgeting
  • Housework
  • Scouting new digs
  • Scouting new furniture
  • Trying to track expenses
  • Trying to track mileage
  • Finding time to call everyone back so my voice mailbox doesn’t get full again
  • Figuring out how not to be overwhelmed

Although there are a couple of items up there that are strictly emotional or mental in nature, there are so many more. Even though those “things” are primarily in my head, they are still “things to do” and they take time and resources.

How to Avoid Having Too Many Things to Do?

I’m not sure. But here is a really good article on it.

So is my list too much? Probably not; it certainly feels that way.

But now that everything’s written down – the inventory part – what’s next is re-prioritization. It’s possible that some of these things need to be taken care of immediately in order to relieve the stress certain ones cause. Kinda like the debt snowball – paying down your little items first and rolling the money into the big items? Same thing with this – it’s about taking care of the little ones so that I can dedicate more mental resources to the big ones.

Who’s with me!? πŸ™‚

Image credit: Shutterstock

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Don | Virginia Beach Wedding Photographer April 14, 2011 at 9:38 am

I love the photo of you on the top of the blog. That’s how I feel. I keep searching for information and find new, cool blogs like yours, so, yes, I AM trying to do too much. Making a morning priority list is important, but I find that the tasks at the bottom of the list NEVER get done. How can you catch up on those things at the bottom of your list?

Monica Dennis April 7, 2011 at 11:25 pm

Tia! Lady! Come on now. If I wrote down EVERYTHING I’m trying to do/accomplish, my goodness I think I’d mentally drown! I’m glad you’re trying to pare that list down! πŸ˜€

Seriously, what do I see here? Enough to fill up your year. That babysitter. I know it may seem a lot, but I have a friend who has managed to get sitters who can do a little extra. I know you’re working on affording it in the first place, but I wonder if you can sweeten the deal a tad to have your sitter ohhhh, I don’t know, fold some laundry? Toss those dishes into the dishwasher maybe? Maybe even just oversee helping your son clean his room? Some little something to help you out a bit?

Can’t wait to hear how you wrestle this beast!

Tia Peterson April 8, 2011 at 12:33 am

Good ideas… I had the first real babysitter since I moved here last March, over last week so I could attend this event at my church. It was nice. I definitely need more than one, but that is a start. I’m sure she wouldn’t mind doing some housework if I added a buck or two to the hourly rate. I never thought to do that, so thanks! I like it.

Italian Mama Chef Michelle April 7, 2011 at 3:22 pm

Funny how you wrote this for today as I have been considering a part-time job in addition to my once a week pt job and the cooking classes I teach. I am going to give it a try because I think it’s something I want to do. If I made a list like yours, I’d be afraid of what I’d see. I don’t think I am too overwhelmed but if I get that way, the job will be the first to go. So far I like what I am doing so that works on my behalf. So many stay in jobs they hate for many different reasons. I am fortunate enough to be able to choose how and when and where I work. Thanks for the perspective and giving me the debt snowball picture. It will help me stay on top of things with the new changes.

Tia Peterson April 8, 2011 at 12:31 am

Hey Michelle!

You’re welcome. I’ve already crossed a couple of things off the list. And right now, it’s 9:30 and I still have some energy to get a few things done. The more productive I am during the day, the more productive I am in the evening, too. Funny how that works!

Tia Peterson April 7, 2011 at 10:41 am

Yikes but I don’t think that’s a good thing, Antonio. That’s the difference. Plus, I don’t think there’s much of a life in there! πŸ™‚

Evelyn Parham April 7, 2011 at 10:36 am

Hi Tia,

I don’t think your list is too long at all. It seems to be quite overwhelming, but don’t let the list fool you into being overwhelmed.

If I made a list of all the things I need to do..I would probably get simply throw in the towel and give up. But you know I won’t give up. πŸ˜€

You have a plan and that makes things so much better.

Take care,

Tia Peterson April 7, 2011 at 10:54 am

Thanks, Evelyn. The list and more things makes me want to crawl into a cave. If it were all physical work, I wouldn’t mind. But so much of it involves thinking, and it wears me out! πŸ™‚ Thanks for your encouragement!

Fran Aslam From Online writer April 7, 2011 at 10:36 am

Hi Tia:

Wow, such a long list and you said it is not lots of things to work on, and some of those are to be done with no work involved. But mind has to work and mind is a part of the body. In some you have to work physically and mind will work partially. So it is all a list to be done by you.

At lease this will make you live like super girl. That is a good place to be. But remember to work as you said in the last, for a night out too.

There is a lot to learn about better living from this post. From how to organize your work, but also what to add in it and a lot more.

Take good care of yourself.

Fran A

Tia Peterson April 7, 2011 at 10:52 am

Hey Fran – Maybe you can do the ones that don’t look like work to you! πŸ™‚ lol It all is work to me.

Marlee April 7, 2011 at 10:33 am

Hey Tia,

I can relate to always having a to-do list, and although this might sound cliche, it’s really about where your thoughts are in all of this. The things that you have to do are not going to go away, but you don’t accomplish anything by “thinking” about what you have to do while doing other things.

This is true for two reasons:
1. You don’t work as well with things when your focus is split (even if it’s just in your head)
2. You foster anxiety internally with makes focusing more difficult so it becomes a cycle

I think you’ve got a really good strategy in mind and I’m with you in tackling the monsters first, but I think it’s probably a good idea to also consider what on that list isn’t REALLY a priority. In other words, what on that list are you doing because you “feel” like you should.

For example, do you really HAVE to do the in-person networking. It’s obviously effective and awesome, but how much does that help you towards your greater purpose. And, how much more can you delegate. Yes, it costs money, but if you have time to acquire more clients, which brings you more money than it’s a wash. But most of all getting the “figuring out” how to deal with overwhelm thing off your list is the most important.

I face this CONSTANTLY. But I’ve learned how to manage the feels of overwhelm so that when it rises up, I put it in check. For me, I simply say “If this doesn’t get done today, is anyone going to die?” If the answer is no, I move on to the next priority item. Which leads me to my next point. You have to ask yourself that question I just set for about yourself too. “If this doesn’t get done to day, am I going to die?” And the answer to that can be more gray, because if you’re pushing yourself so much that you are not taking care of your health, your key relationships, and emotional well being – you could very well be headed for a fall out.

When we have such big aspirations and such big dreams it’s hard not to want to do it all. But we can’t. Ask for help if you need it. Take a break because you should. And even- make less money in the short term to make more money in the long term, by taking things off your plate so you can grow with out killing yourself.

I’m not preaching here, because getting this out right now serves as a remind for me to take my own advice. So to answer your question…I’m with you. πŸ™‚

Tia Peterson April 7, 2011 at 10:51 am

Hey Marlee! All good points. The part about asking the question is really good. There are some things that really are in that gray/death area.

I would love to have time to do things that I like. I can say that most of what’s on that list are things I don’t like doing. So I’m trying to figure out how to do the things I like to do and get the things taken care of that must be. There are things that are not on the list that I’m doing that are not priority, so that goes with your point of not doing things that aren’t priority – but those things are sort of emotional/mental priority. Reading, relaxing, etc. They keep me from feeling like I’m going to shut down. So those would fit in the “if I don’t do this today, am I going to die category!”

Jane@Blogging Tips April 7, 2011 at 9:07 am

Hi Tia,

What a list! LOL. I think if I sit down and write mine it will be quite closer to yours (with a few items related to my day work added to it; being a Scientist in the field of Medical Physics full time, and blogging part time ;)).

It really depends on every individual and their personal and business circumstances as to how much a person can hold. So ya, if you really feel overwhelmed then indeed you are trying to pack in too much.

Anyway, Red Bull is not good.


Tia Peterson April 7, 2011 at 10:40 am

lol Thanks, Jane. I do like Red Bull though! I would buy more of it if it weren’t so expensive!

I definitely summed some of those things up – and left out quite a few. My life is pretty hectic.

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