Falling Behind (and catching up)

We just got home after a great weekend of visiting family and friends (with successful road trips both ways–woohoo!). I was able to visit test-readers Jenny and Kim and discuss my story with them, which was fun. They had a lot of great advice, and Jenny even gave me a CD to inspire my Muse. Thanks, ladies! Plus I gave my parents a copy of my manuscript, and my mom read the whole thing in one day! She really seemed to like it… and she’s not biased at all. 😉

But now that I’m back in the real world and facing a pile of laundry, a messy house, and an empty fridge, I can feel the stress crawling into my pores. Not to mention my self-imposed writing deadline and the Ch. 1 I’m still trying to get right. Since I have a million things I should be doing, I’m not allowing myself to ramble on and on for today’s topic. I’m just going to throw out a question and hope someone answers it for me, LOL.

How do you handle the stress in your life? How do you balance all your obligations, get everything done, and keep from going crazy? If you have a deadline (self-imposed or real), how do you tackle it without panicking?

One of my biggest stress-busters is to actually step away from it all–which is ironic, because then I’m not getting anything done. But after my son goes to bed, sometimes I’ll go outside by myself, just for a few minutes. Long enough to soak in the sunset, or the stars. Nature and God go hand-in-hand for me; when I’m outside, I feel closer to God than at any other time. It’s impossible for me to look at the sky and not feel something–inspiration, perspective, peace, etc. And once I feel that something, I’m refreshed enough to go back inside and tackle the next item on my to-do list.

When I don’t allow myself to go outside, or get exercise, or sleep enough, that’s when the stress takes over. Oh, and listening to audiobooks on my iPod keeps me sane, too. 🙂

So what about all of you?? How do you handle your never-ending to-do lists?? I’d love to hear any ideas, and I hope you all have a not-too stressful week!

P.S. I recently qualified for a free issue of Writer’s Digest, which came in the mail on Saturday. Now I feel like a true professional writer, LOL. It’s funny how little things can sometimes make your day. 🙂


4 thoughts on “Falling Behind (and catching up)

  1. Stress. What a lovely topic.

    Other than the things you’ve already mentioned, one thing I try to do to handle the stress of having so much to do is to focus on the task at hand. I try not to think about the myriad other things that need to get done. And eventually, that list shrinks. (Only to be replaced with another later on). That helps a lot.

    Also, my chiropracter and acupuncturist helps relieve a lot of stress as well. =)

  2. Yes, I can imagine you would know a bit about handling stress. 🙂 LOL, I might have to try your chiropractor and acupuncturist sometime! Very good point about focusing on one task at a time. That’s something I know, and yet I often forget to do it. I’m always thinking, “Next I’ll do this, and then I’ll do that, etc.” Which means I can’t stop stressing until that last thing is done (only to be replaced by another list, as you said). Although that might be a woman thing (have you heard Pastor Winkleman’s analogy of how women are like spaghetti and men are like waffles??). Anyway, thanks for your input! I’ll see you on Saturday. 🙂

  3. I’ve been busy a time or two in my life and I found a GREAT piece of advice that helped me put things in perspective.

    I tend to start one job and, while in the middle of that job, see something else that needs to be done and start it, as well!!! At the end of the day, I had worked really hard, had half a dozen things started, and nothing finished. It was so discouraging.

    I have finally learned to live by my timer. I set my timer for a certain job and I cannot quit until that job is completed or the timer goes off. It works really well for mundane tasks like emptying all the trash, or washing all the mirrors . . . stuff like that. It keeps me on task, or seems to help anyway. Stress is reduced for me if I feel like I’m accomplishing something!

    It also helps me limit computer time!! LOL! Which reminds me that my timer is going off and I have to go start another mundane task!! *sigh*

    A. Kim

  4. LOL, I was just thinking about this the other day! I’m the same way in that I tend to attempt twenty projects at the same time and get none of them done. It gets really scary once I start writing a first draft or revising, because I have even less free time than normal. So I should definitely try setting a timer for chores… and computer time! Thanks for the advice!!

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