I’ve been feeling pretty overwhelmed this past week. As if one thing after another has been piling on until I’m buried. Some of the overwhelm has been because I’ve had social obligations, and my anxiety disorder makes me stress.
But it’s not only the social obligations. I have felt like this before, and it’s usually not the social stuff that makes me feel like I’m drowning. This time, I tried to analyze what exactly was weighing on me. To my surprise, it’s the little things.
Perhaps counter-intuitively, the large projects don’t bother me. Maybe because I expect them to take a long time, and have set my mind to that. It’s what I call the “small” projects that pile up. These are projects that I could finish in less than 4 hours, if I could just sit down and do it.
They aren’t all writing related. I have photo albums that need to be put together (I’m about 3 years behind). I had photos to send to relatives (my in-laws are far away, so I email them a lot of photos of my daughter). I have genealogy pictures and papers to scan and put in the database. I have about 6 hours of TV to watch on DVR. I have photos and artwork I need to clean up to put on Zazzle. I have a novel I want to look at again because I think the focus needs work. I have a short story I want to edit and polish. And I am pushing through a WIP (35 chapters left).
That doesn’t even take into consideration the 2 blog posts a week and the daily stuff of life. And more pops up every day.
It’s the accrual of all these small projects that overwhelm me. I look at my To-Do list, and realized that if I had a week without a child and without blog posts, I could probably knock off 80% of my list, because it’s all “small” projects. Of course, I will not have a childless week, so I have to juggle.
Lately, I have been pushing to finish my WIP. Because I’ve been writing that in all my free time, the other projects have piled up. So now I have to go the other way, stopping the WIP to knock out enough of these projects so I feel like I can breathe.
I think it’s a blessing and bane of us creative types that we always have multiple projects in many media going. How do you carve out time for varying projects? Do you have specific days or hours for different projects? Or do you just do whatever strikes your fancy when you have time?