In Others' WordsIn Others' Words

Monday, August 15, 2011

In Others' Words: Everything ... Or Maybe Not

"You can do anything, but not everything." 
~ David Allen, productivity consultant

This past weekend? It was not about getting everything done. 
It's 2:10 A.M. on Monday--I don't know how many of you were still asleep while I typed this blog post. If I peeked outside my office, I could see the "everything" that didn't get done. 
My kitchen is waiting for someone to clean it. Hhhmmm. Wonder who that will be?
My family room? Well, some of us sat around earlier and watched a musical . . . 
And the photo I posted with my blog? That's the "anything" that I did accomplish this weekend: I (almost) completed the second round of edits on my novel. Ya gotta love Post-it notes. And a long coffee table to spread pages out on. And kids old enough to cook dinner while you edit. (Many thanks to my son-in-love because making dinner was another bit of "everything" I didn't get done.)
Even though my house is, um, let's say unsettled, I'm okay with that. Why? I knew going into this weekend that all the things I wanted to accomplish weren't going to be checked off my To Do list. And as other things (think people) became priority, I had to tell myself things like,"Face it. The house is going to be a mess this weekend."
I chose two priorities: finishing my edits and being with my family. Everything else became a distant third. 
I knew I could do anything.
I also knew I couldn't do everything.
So I chose something

In Your Words: Do you aim for anything or everything? David Allen, the guy who said that breathe-a-little-easier quote, is a time management guru. Do you have any tried and true tips to handle a too-full schedule?  

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At 8:05 AM, Blogger Donna said...

Great post, Beth! Choosing "something" instead of striving for "everything" also allows for greater focus and a more relaxed approach instead of biting everyone's head off who disrupts the quest to finish everything.

At 8:08 AM, Blogger Wendy Paine Miller said...

I like to do the important somethings and let most of the rest go.

~ Wendy

At 8:49 AM, Blogger Lisa Jordan said...

I've given myself permission to stop trying to be perfect since I was failing anyway.Now I make a list of what needs to be that day and prioritize it. What doesn't get done will be there tomorrow.

At 9:31 AM, Blogger Elaine Stock said...

The only tip I have about handling a perpetually full schedule and life demands is more encouragement: learn that it's okay to ignore everything else that isn't a priority . . . and to read encouraging posts like yours that show me that I'm not the only one that feels this way :) Thanks, Beth!

At 9:37 AM, Blogger Jeanne T said...

Great post, Beth! I love that quote. My hubby always says are we going to focus on the good or the best? Sometimes, the good needs to take second place to the best things for my day.
One thing that helps me is that I write down everything I hope to get done in a day, and then I prioritize by number. I begin with the most important and then choose to be okay with what didn't get done in the day.

At 9:39 AM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

Elaine, you helped me come up with a new motto: "Busy loves company!"
And, Donna, yeah ... there was a lot of family around this weekend and I didn't want to be miserable company. Of course, when I'm editing I'm not much company at all. And when someone accidentally dumped water on the table where my ms was . . . YIKES! But the only thing that got wet were my rainbow of Post-its. All good.
Wendy, sounds like I need to hang with you more. I'm good with that.
And, Lisa, your "everything" tops my "everything" any day. I know what you do for a living ... and it involves having to tell your "precious darlings" to stop licking the bottom of their feet.

At 9:41 AM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

Jeanne, you snuck in while I was commenting. I love your husband's quote: focusing on the good or the best. Great perspective.

At 9:57 AM, Blogger Patricia said...

Awesome post, Beth. It obviously resonated with many of us. I can think of far too many times that I was overwhelmed with too much to do and just spun my wheels going nowhere.

At one time I had developed the habit of asking God to order my steps for the day as soon as I woke up every morning. I still do that on those days that I anticipate more activity than normal. By asking Him to order my day, I felt better at the end of the day - knowing that He helped me accomplish what was important to Him, so I could let go of the rest. I've also learned to laugh at a too-busy schedule. At least it helps to release the stress.

At 10:09 AM, Blogger Keli Gwyn said...

I'm learning that I can't do everything and am working on being content with doing something.

At 1:55 PM, Blogger Reba J. Hoffman said...

So true Beth. This past weekend I could have gotten a lot of writing done but it was my best friend's birthday so I turned off the computer and turned on the celebration. Though I have catching up to do, I'm so glad I did it! Awesome post Beth!

At 6:08 PM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

It all comes down to choices, as you say, Reba. And then being content, as Keli mentioned.

At 9:21 PM, Blogger Sarah Forgrave said...

Great quote, Beth! I had one of those busy weeks last week. Seeing light at the end of my deadline kept me afloat. :)


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