What you need: Focus & a Realistic View of Your Plate

Mar 12, 2012Heal from the past

Recently I emailed the DeMuth Advisory Board (a board of folks from all parts of life who advise me on my career). I listed several of the things I’ve been doing, asking their advice on what to focus on. I’ve felt a bit overwhelmed with have-tos and too much to do tasks on my plate, some of which didn’t pan out in terms of monetary gain. Not that money is everything, but I only have a limited amount of time and I want to be strategic about how I use it.

One of my friends, Heidi, who was featured last month, wrote something brilliant to me and I’d like to pass it on to you. She wrote:

“I guess in all of this what I think (know this is just my opinion and those everybody has and sometimes are not worth much) but I would focus on the have tos so I can finish well and strong.  Then as something is cleared from your plate add something else.  It’s kind of like putting to much on your plate at a buffet or potluck. It all kind of runs together and everything gets flavored by everything else and compromises the flavor of the items.  Like I really hate my mashed potatoes tasting like jello salad.”

Oh dear Heidi, I do too. And my mashed potatoes are entirely too jello-y in the sense of my overbooked life.

Others, including Heidi, have talked about my need for focus. {Perhaps you need this too.} When you have too many food items on your plate, crowding happens. Nothing separates from the other, kind of like a tangled mess of spaghetti. We don’t have the mental space to discern what is what. And then life overwhelms.

So let’s make a little pact, shall we? Let’s be realistic about the food on our plate (the tasks in our lives). Don’t wish some away if they are really there. Don’t add things that don’t exist. Simply evaluate what is there. For me?

  • Family, particularly teenagers
  • Writing (contracts for books, articles, blogs)
  • Speaking (including travel)
  • Coaching writers (over at Write Uncaged)
  • Running a corporation (Mary E. DeMuth, Inc. includes bookkeeping, taxes, and all that joyful stuff)
  • Social media
  • Web marketing (creating books, products, etc.)
  • Running a household, including cooking, cleaning, gardening, laundering, etc.

So many jello-y mashed potatoes! God has it all under control, though, and He can give me the focus I need to hone this list.

How about you? How many things are on your plate?