The life and words of Ashley, Erin, and Michelle

Too Busy to Get Anything Done September 5, 2009

Filed under: Life in General — Erin Joy @ 12:04 am
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I’m embarrassed to say this, but I’ve barely been home all month. It feels like I haven’t slept in my own bed more than two nights in a row in ages. From church camp to pet sitting, from weddings to movie shoots, I’ve managed to pack my schedule so tightly that I have barely had a chance to catch my breath.

It’s my own fault, really. I’m the one who tends to try to do too much, and I binge on people. It’s only when I start to see certain signs that I realize that I am overwhelming myself with activities and people.

Take, for instance, the fact that I have been in and out of my house so often that my laundry has exploded across my room and I still haven’t fully unpacked from camping, which was at the beginning of August. I spent a good hour last weekend trying to find a shirt before giving up on it. I found it while cleaning tonight. It was still in that bag from camp.

The same thing happens with my purse. I’m running so often over a significant amount of time that I start to cram everything and anything into my purse. (People who were at the last secret sister revealing at Evergreen can attest to that.) I have receipts spilling out of every pocket, and I can’t ever find anything, especially a pen or the change floating at the bottom. It becomes so weighed down that, when I take my camera out like I did yesterday, I begin to think I’m not carrying a purse because of the noticeable difference in pressure it puts on my arm.

Then there’s is the whole forgetfulness cue. I know that I have certain things to get done, but I always get distracted with what is at hand. I have several people to see, but I start being late for appointments. That’s never a good thing. To attempt to get on this, I’ve created “to-do” lists, but they just stare back at me, overwhelming me with the number of projects I’ve started and have yet to finish. (And, yes, I have read Ashley’s post on that.)

Worst of all, I have to deal with the fact that I don’t make time to work on my job search. I’ll confess: this last month has been far less than stellar in respect to the number of jobs I have been applying for. When I have a significant amount of free time, I tend to send out a half dozen to a dozen applications or resumes a week, whether by email or by walking into a store. This month, I’ve probably done a week’s worth in the entire month.

You would think that I would learn after having done this to myself on a regular basis. But I haven’t. I still go on people binges, hiding away in my room to edit photos for days at a time whenever I get the opportunity until the itch to replace Adobe Photoshop with humans reaches me again.

Maybe it’ll ease up a little bit again once I find a job that has more consistent hours. But, until then, I need to find myself some free time to fill out more applications and hopefully cram in an interview or two.


To-Do Lists and Human Nature August 18, 2009

Filed under: Life in General — ashleybarrett @ 5:14 pm
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I’m a big fan of to-do lists and writing down what I want to accomplish. When I suddenly remember something, I will stop what I’m doing and write it down. Then, I feel relieved because I don’t have to think about it until I do it.


However, to-do lists come with drawbacks.  Sometimes the list grows frighteningly long and I find myself moving as fast as I can to shrink the list. When I’m in a rush, I don’t enjoy my tasks, don’t perform them as well and wander through my day anxious and self-centered.

This behavior doesn’t sound like the abundant life Jesus told me about.

So one day last week, when I had a lot to do, I decided I would work through my tasks, enjoy them and let myself not finish everything. I actually never finish everything on my list (does anybody?) but this time, I would not stare at my incomplete lists and gloomily move tasks to the next day.

That decision was put to the test at the grocery store when I locked my keys in the car and couldn’t reach my husband. What should have been a 45 minute shopping trip stretched more than two hours. While waiting in the parking lot, I tried to make the best of it by enjoying the sunshine, snacking on my groceries and reading a magazine (even though the magazine wasn’t terribly interesting, I had nothing else to do and don’t think this goes against my decision not to read articles I don’t enjoy).

And despite those obstacles, I accomplished everything that needed to be done and several things I wanted to get done. Maybe that’s what Jesus meant, there would always be more than enough for needs. At the end of the day, instead of feeling drained, I had more energy than usual. I thanked God for everything I completed that day and planned for the next day.  Then I enjoyed an evening with my husband instead of collapsing on the couch until I drug myself into bed.

Are you a to-do list fan or do they make you anxious? How do you accomplish the essentials while staying sane?