I’m curious – How do you do it?

Since school is out and I have my grandchildren more hours per day, I am finding myself in a constant state of behindness (Yes, I know that’s not a real word, but it fits.) I’m the little boy in the picture below, struggling to keep up, carrying my balloon. πŸ™‚

Photo courtesy Lucdecleir via Pixabay

Of course, when you add in a book festival, a road trip to see my sister, and a music festival those contribute greatly to the behindness. So, I can own the fact that I did this to myself.

I’m curious. How do you do it? How do you juggle blogging, keeping up with other bloggers, social media, promoting your books writing new books, reading, working, taking care of your spiritual life, keeping your body healthy, and spending time with family?

I know not everything works for everyone, but I found one word that resonated with me

Simplify – Sounds easy, right?

When I looked at ways to do that, I made two lists. In one column, I listed the necessities in life and in the other column I listed the things I want to do but aren’t essential for living.

“But,” I hear you say, “I don’t want to stop doing what I’m doing.” Oh wait, that was me talking, not you.

Okay fine. I’ll move some of the things I want to do over to the essentials column.

Oops. Guess what? Now, I have one column. Back to square one with a deep sigh.

What to do?

I looked at the column again and thought to myself, prioritize.

That sounds logical.

I have to eat, sleep, do meditation, and exercise. Those are top priorities just to keep functioning. Then, I have to work to earn the money to support my lifestyle. That’s another priority. But what about my writing life? Isn’t it equally as important to promote the books I have spent money, blood, sweat, and tears creating? If I don’t, will anyone see them? Probably not. Finding the time to keep creating is ultra important to my well-being.

Blogging isn’t a necessity, I suppose. But if I hadn’t gotten consistent with blogging, I would never have built the following I have. So, if I neglect it, the numbers fall. And, if I don’t visit and support other blogs, the visits and comments on my blogs diminish.

You see where I’m going, right?

I have no easy answer. The truth is that I want to do it all and I feel like I’m on a merry-go-round getting dizzy.

Remember these? I broke my pinky toe on one when I was a kid.

I thought of two things I can implement that might help me get a grip: #1 Start saying “no” to anything I don’t really want to do #2 Ask for help (the hardest thing in the world for me to do).

Now, I’d love to hear from you. How do you juggle it all and stay on top of the pile? We’re all on this merry-go-round together.

52 thoughts on “I’m curious – How do you do it?

  1. I wish I had answers that work consistently. Sometimes that smelly stuff happens and the whole stack of cards falls like they do in that old game of 52 pickup. I could tell you all about that faith practice that I do to make the right priority decisions when those obstacles appear, but that’s a whole ‘nother story.

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  2. Oh, yes, Jan! I so hear you in EVERYTHING you are saying here. And I too drew those two essential things that helped me: Saying no and asking for help… and ignoring things that are not as important as they seem when there is more time… and use the spare time to spoil yourself whenever possible! Awesome, Jan! We are on the same wave, totally πŸ˜‚

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    1. It is uncanny how the energy reaches across the miles and to know that we are all experiencing similar things. Your post certainly struck a chord with me. I do think it will level back off and we will get more of a grip. I was gifted some extra time to play catch-up on Friday and it helped tremendously! Thank you for taking the time to comment. Hugs!

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      1. That’s awesome, some extra hours are gold and can already relax everything dramatically. So, have a lovely Sunday, Jan, and big hugs back πŸ’–

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  3. I don’t know that there is an answer. There are certain times when things just seem to get excessively busy, and I try not to sweat that. I try to grab an extra hour or two by getting up earlier or eliminating something that can wait until next week.

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    1. Those are good suggestions, Pete. And you are right. The business comes in ebbs and flows. I hope by the end of the weekend, I am on firmer ground. πŸ™‚ Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. I wish I had a good answer for this, Jan, but in reality what I do is muddle through, doing the best I can with the time I’m allotted. I ALWAYS feel behind the eight-ball on something, and guess I have learned to live with the fact I will never catch up. The most I hope for these days is to tread water and not go under. Somehow that works for me.

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    1. I think treading water is about the most we can hope for, Mae. I am okay with that, but when I go under and start drowning, I panic. πŸ™‚ I need to just be thankful for a full busy life and forget about trying to do it all. Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  5. If you’re that little boy, turn around, Jan – I’m several steps behind you, lol. I constantly feel like things are falling through the cracks no matter what I do. It’s been over a week since I’ve written anything – but I’ve been constantly busy. I’m setting aside writing time this weekend, so that’s something.

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    1. I’m right there with you, Teri! I plan to spend some time visiting my WIP this weekend!! Thank you for stopping by, and I’m afraid if I turn around and look to see you, I’ll miss a step and fall. πŸ™‚ Hugs!

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  6. Hi Jan, I certainly can’t answer for other bloggers, but I can tell you what I do to try and help myself cope with it all. WRT blogging, I have made daily lists of bloggers whose posts I don’t want to miss. In that way, I ensure that I don’t forget to visit the posts I really want to read, even if I catch them up on one day. I got the lists times from Mae’s SE post. People who post infrequently, I follow via email so that I don’t miss their posts. In that way, I know I will at least find the posts I want to read. Then I limit my blogging time. I visit that days lists for both my blogs and if there is time left over out of my allotted time – 1 hour in the morning and 1 hour at night, I visit other people through the reader. If I have some extra time in the day, i.e. I am sitting waiting at a doctor, I pop into WP and read a few posts. I have time for writing from 6am to 8.30 am every Sat and Sun morning. I try to fit in a few hours during the week if I can. I read every night from 8.30pm to 9.30pm. In between, I work and see to my family.

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    1. You are amazing with your discipline, Robbie! I know your plate is full and running over and I admire the ways you have found to maintain and stay on top of things. I know setting a specific time to do specific chores would be helpful. I am not a disciplined person and that’s hard for me, but I’m going to try it! Thank you SO much for sharing your techniques for coping. I totally embraced Mae’s post about making lists on WP reader so as not to miss any of the regular blogs I follow, including yours. I truly appreciate your comment! Hugs!

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      1. It is my pleasure, Jan. I am glad you found my experience useful. That was a great post of Mae’s. The lists have been most helpful for me as I just can’t have so many notifications coming to my email. It swamps me and makes me feel out of control. Your blog is also on one of my lists and it has made it much easier for me to find it. For some reason it never comes up when I search the reader. I always had to go via another blog. This is so much easier.

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      2. How odd that my blog didn’t come up for you. I totally agree that Mae’s suggestion of the reader lists has been a wonderful stress reliever for me, as I obsessively try to keep my inbox down to a manageable number. Thank you so much for your comment! Have a great weekend!

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  7. I think we’re all on the same merry go round. Before I began writing, I had to give up some other activities. It was hard at first, but I had to prioritize.

    But I’m still leaning how to balance everything.

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  8. You remind me of watching the juggler starting with three balls, then more and more balls were thrown at him, and he caught every one of them, continued to juggle without losing the momentum, until… more than he could handle and he dropped all of them. I knew it was an act but I think that’s what we talk about getting burned out.

    I remember back in 2016 when my blog took off, I did as many as 58+ posts a month, and built most of my followers within two or three years before I stopped following back. Then I even I unfollowed some so I wouldn’t get too overwhelmed by my Reader on the blog.

    I constantly shuffle and reshuffle my list and my priorities. At this point of my life with a toddler and a baby grandkids, they are my priority because they grow so fast.

    I make are to keep contact with a core group of blogging friends.

    I appreciate many of your ideas.

    I must go now because my granddaughters need me.

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    1. Lol, Miriam. Yep. I feel like that juggler and am trying hard to keep all the balls in the air. I think you made a great point about shuffling, then re-shuffling priorities as life changes around us. Thank you for your comment and keep loving those grands, because they do grow up fast!

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      1. I only saw them twice during the pandemic. It was hard not to watch their progress closely. Now the restrictions are lifted, I could come more frequent to see them and let my daughter and her hubby take a little break. They add so much joy in my life.

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  9. I live in the moments. 😊 Life goes on… sometimes it’s hard but those moments take care of themselves and I smile at them or write a poem about them. Lovely post Jan… realities of life need to be respected.

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  10. My juggle is an ongoing challenge. Seven days a week, blogging, writing novels, visiting, and supporting other authors are all part of the day. So what suffers? My promotion work. I guess I have just come to the idea that I’m never going to sell a ton of books, so why sweat it?

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    1. That’s a great way to look at it, John. I am happy to promote your books, because they are all super!! Just as soon as I get a minute. πŸ™‚ Seriously, something has to suffer and I cannot imagine blogging seven days a week. My hat is off to you! Thanks for stopping by and I agree with your last statement. I don’t want to “sweat” any of it.

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  11. I don’t, try. Just let things happen. Oh–‘behindness’. Writers are all by nature neologists. We’re allowed to make up our own words.

    Maybe that’ll help you to deal with too much to do!

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  12. This made me laugh, Jan, because its a constant struggle for me too! “Finding the right balance,” is a lifelong goal that I don’t think I’ll ever achieve. Saying “no” to things you don’t want to do is essential. I also take breaks from blogging to enjoy other parts of my life (my wishy-washy goal is one week per quarter depending on what’s going on). I also used to blog 3x a week and have cut back to once (or twice) a week. That made a big difference, too. If you have any more tips… I’m all ears!! Hugs.

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    1. Lol, Diana. We all seem to be sitting on the same merry-go-round. I suggest we install a magical margarita machine in the middle. πŸ™‚ It’s all a juggling act for sure and as long as I stay on task and stay home and do nothing but work, I can manage. But life happens and I don’t want to miss a thing! Thank you for stopping by! Hugs!

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  13. This is the story of my life. Lol! I never have time for everything. Like you, I create a priorities list. Since writing is more of a hobby right now, it is lower on the list. Health/wellness, family, and work fill most, if not all, of my days, so writing suffers. Now, during the summer, my family road trip takes priority, but I try to sprinkle in writing at night when I can. The hope is that one can make peace with his/her choices because that is what is most important. Great post, Jan! 😊

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    1. You make an excellent point, Yvette. We have to be able to find peace with our choices. I made the choice to enjoy the freedom to move around again after COVID and I don’t regret one second of it! Writing is definitely the part of life that gets shoved down the list, and that is the one thing I can’t feel at peace with. I’m working on it. Thank you for stopping by! Enjoy every family road trip! They are precious!

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    1. From the comments I am seeing, I simply echoed what many are feeling. It’s good to know I’m not alone on the merry-go-round. Learning to say “No,” seems to be the theme. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment.

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  14. No is the hardest word…
    I supervised my twin grandchildren on Wednesday (3 yr-olds). I am rather out of practice, (and since lockdown, such practice I had accumulated fell by the wayside). But I found ‘no’ a much more common word than it has been of late. Now it’s come back to me, maybe I can apply it elsewhere…

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    1. So many adjustments to be made after the lockdown. We are cautiously finding our freedom to move around again. No is hard, but I’m going to keep practicing. πŸ™‚ Thank you for your comment, Cathy!

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