Lately I’ve had plenty of changes and felt myself moving off track.
I still operate a cleaning business and do most of the cleanings myself. It pays the bills quite handily and allows me to be home by 1pm most days to spend time with my toddler.
Last Monday a woman walking her dog stopped by my car as I was unloading for a cleaning. One thing led to another and two consults later I have two new WEEKLY clients. This meant moving and shifting other clients to accommodate this new client load.
Last Thursday I took a class on investing from Bobbie Christensen. She is the same instructor that taught “How to Write, Publish and Market Your First Book” which spawned my first book “Get Organized, Stay Organized.”
I like her approach, although I don’t agree 100% with her reasoning on all things. Overall she has good advice though.
On Saturday we (my husband and I) went to a class “Successful Small Business Planning” but were disappointed to find that the instructor not only didn’t show up to the class but still has not emailed or explained his absence. I was counting on him covering writing a business plan and giving pointers.
A fictional piece that I have been working on (well, off and on) for ten years, “War’s End,” is nagging at me. It’s time I finished it, before it damn well comes true and everyone thinks I based it off of real events.
“Change Your Life” is also jostling for attention. I’ve identified at least 15 chapters that I want to include in the book and have partially written around four of them.
Tack onto all of that my worries about leaving my 2-year-old for three days, trying to think of articles that I could get published to build my CV and give me a chance at getting “CYL” bought by a publisher, AND the fact that this entry has been interrupted TWICE by crashing sounds and toddler child crying (split lip).
So here I am, distracted and discombobulated, pulled in too many directions.
About this time you are probably thinking, “For crying out loud, Christine, slow the hell down!” And that might work if it weren’t that it is ME we are talking about. I like challenges, I like having too many pans in the fire, and I also know that, in the end, all of this is do-able and long as I remember one thing:
I can only do these tasks one at a time.
It is physically impossible for me to do all of the stuff I listed above at the same time. I know this and accept it. For most of them, there are no deadlines, it’s all pretty open-ended.
But every once in a while, it all creeps up and overwhelms and that is when it is time to re-center myself. I list it all out, everything that is pulling me in the different directions and then prioritize.
What needs to be done RIGHT NOW?
What can wait until next week?
What is more important in the long-term scheme of things?
It takes me an hour or so of uninterrupted scheming and planning to get back on track. Thankfully I have a husband who understands this about me. I said to him, “I haven’t been writing much in the last week and I am feeling pulled in a lot of directions. I really need to re-center and evaluate my priorities.”
He said to me, “It’s 9:30. You’ve got until noon. Close your office door and do what you need to do.” And with the exception of the two falling down toddler incidents I have done just that. The clock is ticking. I’ve got two hours left to screw my head on straight, evaluate and re-focus my priorities, and get a plan together.
For those who are lacking such an understanding spouse, I recommend re-centering at 10-midnight or 5am-7am on any given morning. Find the time, make the time, and get your priorities in order. Plan on needing to do this at least every couple of months if not on a more regular weekly basis.
It’s worth the extra effort.