What to Do When Life Gets Busy

It has been a while since I have given a complete update on my life. Part of this is due to the recent change in occupation and the many complications that this change brought with it, but part of it is just life catching up with me. I started this blog over a year ago and I don’t regret doing so for a minute. It has significantly enhanced my life and has helped me find one of my true passions: writing.

Part of me wonders if there is a way that I could “write” full time without any obligation to work a traditional job. Yet, at the same time, I know that blogging and developing the many necessary technical skills to run a successful website DIRECTLY contributed to me getting this new job. In fact, I used my website skills to put up an online resume (which I mentioned when I talked about my new job in more detail).

Before I get side tracked, let’s just summarize the past few months as “busy.” Nothing describes it better than this. Not only did we live through one of the worst hurricanes to hit the NE on record, lose power for days, but I decided to add more changes immediately following. We bought a second car (which I am realizing is expensive and I want to go back to my single car days) and I have been forced to hit the ground running at my new job. Don’t get me wrong – I love it! I wouldn’t go back for anything, but it just adds another layer of busyness to the already towering pile of life’s chores.

When life gets busy, you start to lose perspective on things…

What to Do When Feeling Overwhelmed

When life gets busy, I don’t give in. I kick it into high gear. I secretly tell myself that I can handle it (because I’ve always been able to), and I keep going. That’s what I’ve done in the past, so why shouldn’t I be able to muscle through it? These past few months I realized that I reached my limit. There is only so much that I can do without feeling overwhelmed and that’s okay. I assume many other people take a similar route.

When life gets busy, they ignore it. The tasks that can be swept under the rug are done so without hesitation and life continues as normal. Some how our culture has developed into a state where it is difficult to ask for help and impossible to admit that you can’t do it all. Coming to the realization that we can’t do it all at once is something new to me. As I mentioned, I’ve always thrived. I set goals, and I accomplish them. It’s that simple…except when it’s not. Admitting that you need help or can’t do everything that you set out to do takes either a lot of courage or desperation. I’d like to say that it was the former for me, but it’s most likely more of the latter.

Now that I have danced around the matter for countless paragraphs (and probably bored many of you out of your minds), let’s get down to the details. In the past year, while I have been successful at multi-tasking and juggling many projects at once, I finally realized that I can’t do it all. I can’t manage 10 blogs at once (this may be an exaggeration, but the truth is that I don’t keep count of how many blogs I manage until someone asks me) while also working full-time and going to grad school. Inevitably, I put graduate school off and focused on what entertained me: developing a side business. It was much more enjoyable to see tangible results than invest time into a single document that no one other than the two required readers will read. To say that I have become disenchanted with academia might be an understatement. It certainly has its purpose, but one in which I no longer belong. I will probably finish my degree in the coming months, but only for the reason that I have already invested so much time and energy into it that it would kill me to give up now.

Grad school wasn’t the only thing that I ignored, but it was the item that sat idly by the most. I soon found myself unable to keep up with the many tasks of running an online business. And so, like any other person is forced to do, I had to make a decision: ask for help or give up entirely.

Don’t Give Up Your Passions

I recently read a blog post at So Over This about how a reader gave up his dreams because of debt. It’s a sad story and one that I never had to experience. Thankfully, I avoided debt like the plague. Yet, in the past few months I have found myself at a similar crossroads. I could either call it quits and focus on the normal 9-to-5 like any other person, or I could get help. And so I have chosen the latter. I have outsourced where I found it affordable and appropriate and re-grouped. This means getting rid of the blogs that I don’t care about or am not entirely invested in, and re-focusing my efforts.

Ultimately, I realized that while I still may dream of self-employment down the road, I’d much rather develop a career right now. I enjoy the challenge of being successful in a normal job and I have finally found something that is worth-while and that I am good at. That is a rare gift and something I’m going to pursue. At the same time, I still enjoy this challenge of managing a successful blog. Entertaining all of you enough to get you to come back time after time is a difficult, but worthy challenge. It is one that I will continue no matter what. I will outsource everything before I give up this blog (including even using PK Group Accountancy Services to keep track of my income). Yet, instead of focusing on how much money I can make in 2013 (like I did in 2012), I’m going to focus on more worthwhile goals: the extent of my influence, the community, the value added in the content, and efficiency (in other words, no longer wasting hours for the slightest benefit in rankings or income).

Overcoming the recent battles with life’s busyness has forced me to realize that I must become more efficient. I don’t have to do everything by myself (even though I may want to believe that) and that it’s okay to do the best you can. I have learned a lot more about myself than I would have expected by starting this blog.

Readers, have you ever reached a point where you couldn’t do everything? How did you respond?

5 Responses to What to Do When Life Gets Busy

  1. Michelle says:

    Life definitely does get busy. Right now I am trying to be better with managing my time. I recently hired a staff writer for my blog and this has helped greatly.

  2. I need to learn to outsource some aspects but don’t know where to start!

  3. Squirrelers says:

    I’ve reached that point at different points for various reasons. The one thing that I’ve learned to keep in mind is that big picture, life is short and I need to spend more time enjoying it and less time worrying and stressing about constant accomplishments.

    It’s in my nature in to be goal oriented, but I think that balance is very important. To that end, I ask the question “so what?”, If I don’t reach a certain goal, does it really matter overall? Or, is it only important because I made it seem that way?

    It can be liberating to give ourselves a break sometimes :)

  4. I’m really in the same boat, or I can see it heading that way quickly. I have the blog, a new house that has some projects, a studio apartment to rent out, a side business I’m trying to build (not the blog, a spreadsheet/automation consulting biz), and then of course my full-time job. I feel that planning is really the best way to get ahead, but you’re right you can’t do it all. Somethings gotta give…I think I’ve said that many times the past month.

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