Sunday, November 25, 2007

Knowing When to Say No - Fawcett

It’s so easy these days to get caught up in good causes. With technology to aid us, we are able to accomplish far more in a shorter span of time than we would have done just twenty years ago. Because of this advance in do-ability, it is so easy to get overwhelmed with a multitude of tasks. While human beings have the capacity to multi-task, it isn’t always in our best interests to do so. Too often, the important things in life get shuffled aside by the good but not so important things. Two examples come to mind.

My youngest daughter is single and living on her own but she works with my husband. Every morning like clockwork she arrives at my door for a cheery greeting, a hug and a “have a good day”. Too often, I have found myself so embroiled in updating various websites, checking emails and writing skeleton outlines for articles and books that I have almost missed her daily greetings. All of those things aren’t bad things for me to be doing. But they are dangerous when they interfere with the important relationships in my life.

My second example is a variation of my first. Sometimes I get so bogged down with keeping up with the various websites and blogs and email accounts that I don’t find the time to write what God is leading me to write. How sad! (As I type this, I have a manuscript waiting for a second edit and three other manuscripts waiting to be finished. We’ve already established that I’m ADHD and need to work on several things at once.)

As two contracts came into my inbox this past week, I was forced to step back and look at the busyness of my life. There was a lot of clutter distracting me—and a lot of jobs being done that weren’t necessary. It was time for me to do some housecleaning—and I don’t mean the kind involving a vacuum.

I scanned through my email accounts and unsubscribed to all those e-zines that I never have time to read. It drastically cut down on the number of emails I had to sort through. Some of my extra websites found themselves in the trash can too. While Facebook and Myspace are wonderful social tools, they weren’t the effective marketing tools I had hoped for—so I disengaged. I took a step back and looked at my calendar. There were unnecessary events that I had committed to—programs that I had signed up for—that weren’t as important as my family or my writing. So I shaved them off of my agenda.

So now that my work day has been whittled down to the bare bones, I am far more efficient and far more relaxed. I am back to my writing and proofreading. And my family is happy to see me stepping out of my office for some quality time with them. Don’t make the mistake of sacrificing the best in your life for all the good things that come your way.

Donna Fawcett is the author of Thriving in the Homeschool
and the Donna Dawson novels Redeemed & The Adam & Eve Project

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