I had a startling and rather disturbing revelation the other day: I cannot do it all.

I know, I know. Most of you probably realized this eons ago. But somehow, in a teensy corner of my mind, I’ve been telling myself, “Sure, I can squeeze one more thing into my day.”

Except then, none of it gets done well. I’m frazzled and cranky and no fun to be around. At all.

So what’s a superwoman/wife/mom/creative person to do?

Aprons on the line

Capes…or, aprons on the line

Instead of a cape, we need a list; but not just any list. We need a priority list.

Remember the analogy of putting the big rocks—the most important things—into the jar of your life first? Then the smaller/quicker/less important things get filled in around the big, must-do important items?

It’s a great way to look at it. But first, you have to decide what those big rocks are. Be specific.

Then break those priorities into doable chunks.

At the start of every week, I grab a half-sheet of paper and divide it into columns. The first is marked, “This Week,” and the others are labeled Monday through Sunday.

In the first column, I list everything I want/need to accomplish in the next seven days: creative, work, and family-related. This forces me to ask, “What’s possible? What’s reasonable?” And equally important, “How long will it take to do this?”

Then each item gets assigned a day, or more, and a general time slot for when I’m going to work on it.

I realize there are sophisticated programs and apps to do this kind of thing, and I do use some, but seeing the whole week at a glance helps me stay focused.

It also reminds me not to run down some rabbit trail or other. But that’s a different topic.

Even if we don’t get everything done—and we almost never do—we can feel good about our forward progress, one day at a time.

What’s your favorite system for getting things done? Please leave a comment and let me know what works for you.

      *      *      *     *

Thank you!

I want to thank everyone who took the time to post an online opinion/review of Angel Falls! I appreciate it so much.

If you haven’t yet, would you take a few minutes to post your opinion on Amazon/Goodreads/B&N? It doesn’t need to be long or “professional”—just give your opinion. Those reviews make a huge difference for a new novelist like me. Thank you so much!

Do you live in Central Florida?

I will be giving a talk called, “Why It’s Still Too Soon To Quit” at the Belleview Library on Thursday, June 20at 3:30 p.m. I’d love to see some of you there!