I Am That Girl Now

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Too many priorities is the same thing as none at all

I tend to suffer from-- as I've been told on multiple occasions-- an inability to prioritize. I either have ONE THING as the only thing that I do, or I am attempting to do everything at once. I always believe that absolutely everything is important, so the thing I end up doing is the thing that shows up in my in-box at that particular moment, or the subject that my Hub brings up while we're getting ready for work... that sort of thing. I have attempted to change this by writing everything down. This just means I have a very long list of Things To Do.

I'm trying, trying, trying to learn how to prioritize. The first step, thus far, is realizing that there are a zillion bajillion kajillion things that I could, in potentia, do, and that there's no way in hell that I can possibly do them all, not even if I just did them all for about a minute. I'm just not going to live a zillion bajillion kajillion minutes, and, frankly, most stuff takes more than a minute to do. This sucks. This is a limitation, and I hate those. This is, however, reality. Gotta deal with it.

Second step is realizing that there are several different kinds of stuff to do. There's stuff that I want to do. There's stuff that I have to do. There's stuff that I just kind of end up doing when I'm tired or otherwise just need to give my brain a break. And, well, there are things that other people want me to do, which I used to think would trump every other kind of want-to/have-to, because I tend to discount my own thoughts on what's important. There are limits to how much of each of these can possibly exist in my life, again because of the time limitation inherent in being a mortal creature. One thing I've noticed, though, is that all these things will occur in my life, and some balance needs to be achieved, because any time I've tried to cut any of these things out my life has gone all whackamaroo.

Third step, apparently, is learning how to distinguish between these types of things. I'm kind of waffling around there at the moment, because this is a harder trick than I thought it would be. For instance, I seem to not be so good at recognizing that when someone else wants me to do something, it is not automatically a HAVE-TO situation. I still cringe somewhat when I turn something down; I always feel like I'm going to get in trouble for this, or that I'll be hated for it, or something.

A step that I have yet to achieve is to balance all these things. I'm just plain not good at it. I am a creature of great inertia; whatever I am doing, I tend to keep doing. I'm also prone to forgetting that "just five minutes" for something never is, and that even if it would be, I can't afford a lot of "just five minutes" things for the same reason that I can't afford a lot of "just five dollars" things-- they add up, and my time (or money) is finite.

There's a lot of stuff that I won't get to do. This sucks. I guess that making priorities for yourself isn't so much about deciding what will get done, as what won't get done; if I'm going to spend an hour writing, I won't get to spend that hour vegging out on the couch with my Hub, because I still need to get to sleep at a reasonable hour and no, cutting an hour of sleep out is just not an option because every time I've tried that I turn into a horribly cranky person who gets nothing done whatsoever.

Some stuff that I think is important, won't get done. At least, it won't get done by me. I may be able to convince my Hub to do some of it, but that's another learning process right there: accepting that I don't have to do all of this stuff personally, and that, yes, some of my stuff may be important enough to ask other people to help. BIG STEP. I think I've managed this a few times, but, you know. It's hard.

And now I'm using this post to avoid doing something that I really wanted to do, which is just a weird thing altogether. SO. Gonna go do that instead.

4 Comments:

  • I guess that making priorities for yourself isn't so much about deciding what will get done, as what won't get done

    That's a really good point. I feel that way about the blogs I read. Sometimes the entires just pile up and I realize I won't be able to read every single entry everyone wrote. It's hard deleting stuff unread, but sometimes it has to be done for my own sanity.

    By Blogger PastaQueen, at 10:28 AM  

  • Everyone has some degree of ADD. Priorities can be tough, especially when there are multiple people involved, and your priorities aren't necessarily the same as their priorities.

    It helps for me to make lists. If I write it down, it tends to get down. To make it work, I have to be selective about what I write down.

    By Blogger Jarrett Meyer, at 11:33 AM  

  • You sound like me... I write lists... I stress over getting everything done... Just today in fact I decided I needed to take a chill pill and stop stressing over doing stuff NOW! I am driving myself crazy. Hope you are having a neat weekend chick.

    By Blogger Chris H, at 10:20 PM  

  • Oh yes... the curse of either being totally single minded and consumed by something or of trying to do too many things at once so not one gets done effectively, if at all. I know it well...

    By Anonymous Mae, at 10:27 PM  

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