I don’t know where to start. And that’s true for this post AND the circumstances that prompted me to write this post. But start I must!
For the past year or so, I’ve found myself so overwhelmed that I just don’t feel well. It’s taking a toll on me physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. And if I feel this way, I’m sure many of you are experiencing the same thing. This can lead to total burnout if we’re not careful. We are writers, and sometimes it seems that writing comes after everything else.
So let’s explore what might be happening here. Why am I overwhelmed? And why might you be overwhelmed? Here’s my take on some of my problems (not all of them, but a good sample).
- I let my day job get to me. When that happens, I don’t feel like doing things when I get home, so I’m not very productive.
- I’m also a line editor, and I have the hardest time telling clients that I’m booked and can they push back that deadline. I have one client who is very prolific, and she’s loyal, so I’m always going to get her books done first. And she gives me plenty of time. But then I try to squeeze other clients in too small of a timeframe because I don’t want to make them wait. This leads to lots of stress because then I’m terrified I won’t meet a deadline. (I haven’t missed one yet.)
- I get so stressed about this other stuff that I don’t feel like I have time to get exercise and healthy eating in. So I grab something quick and don’t get on the treadmill.
- I don’t take time for my daily Bible reading, so then I feel guilty. Which also leads to lack of productivity.
- I can’t say no to anyone, and I end up taking on even more things!
Now think about yourself. Make a list like this for you. Do you see any similarities, or is your list completely different?
Let’s see how I can fix some of these things.
- Think of the day job as just a job I go to for a few hours, and don’t sweat it.
- When a potential (or current) client asks if I can edit their book, I need to think carefully about time and let them know when I can do it instead of trying to cram it in.
- Take at least 30 minutes to exercise. I’ll be more productive if I feel better. Make meals ahead on the weekends so I’ll have them through the week.
- Take 15 minutes to read the Bible. It helps me feel renewed.
- Learn to say no! The world won’t end!
Okay, now you do the same thing. Look at your list of things that cause you to feel overwhelmed, then list a possible solution for each one.
I already feel better, don’t you? Isn’t there something about lists that make you feel more in control? I would love to hear your thoughts and see your lists.