I was asked the other day if there is anything that gets in the way of my writing – My immediate response to this question is “Life.” Life gets in the way of my writing.

But then, when I stopped and thought about it and wondered if that is really true.

I think there are all sorts of time wasters that we all succumb to (Facebook, anyone?) that take away from the time we’d have to be doing other things. Things we should be doing or things we’d like to do but always feel like there is not enough time to do.

Now, granted, working full time, taking care of the house, the kids, the critters and a hunky SuperMan takes up a LOT of my time.  But, if I’m brutally honest with myself, there are things I can eliminate that would free up time for me to pursue other things I’d like to be doing more of.

Like exercising, reading, writing, and scrapbooking.

What sorts of things can I eliminate?

Laundry, mopping, taking showers….

No, wait, that won’t work.

But, I’m sure I could spend a little less time on Facebook.  A little less time watching TV.  A little less time piddling around on the internet.

But for me, the big thing that helps me to fit those important things into my life (as opposed to just the Urgent, or urgently-tempting-me things) is this:



I was feeling very, very scattered last week, catching up from being on holiday for a week.  I just felt overwhelmed every single day at all the things I had to accomplish.  Bills to pay, laundry to do, spreadsheets and powerpoints to finish, reports to run and records to edit.  It seemed insurmountable and all I wanted to do was crawl back in bed and dream it all away.

For the first day or two, I didn’t do much different than that. I didn’t sleep, but I did everything I could to avoid reality. And I knew I was doing it.

Then, I woke up on Wednesday and told myself it was time to put on my big girl pants and get on with things.  Sometimes I have to do that – have a stern talk with myself.  (and sometimes I actually listen)

I sat down and made a list – well, two, actually. One personal and one for work. I listed at the top all the things that I had to do.  At the bottom, I listed all the things that I wanted to do. Those are two different lists. And it helped me to FOCUS on the things I needed to get done, while identifying and recognizing the other things I wanted to do as well.

I woke up Friday morning, for the first time all week, not feeling like I was at the bottom of a very tall hill that had to be climbed.


I knew what I had accomplished (love checking off those boxes!)

and I knew what was yet to be done.

It’s amazing to me how a simple little list can help me change my mindset so quickly. It seems archaic but it works. And that is all that really matters to me.


2 thoughts on “Focused

  1. Thanks for sharing this. It’s good to hear how someone else gets themselves back in gear… so I know I’m not the only person who has these problems. I’m sure we all do sometimes – some of us cope better than others, I suppose. I let myself get very overwhelmed by “Life” sometimes and it’s exhausting. I am an expert at “Displacement Activities” (ie. doing stuff like Facebook and playing pc games when I should be doing the laundry, or making books). Perhaps, instead, I need to become more expert at making lists – and using them!
    I hope you still feel focussed and more in control.


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