This seems to be the word of the month for me. I’ve been reading One Perfect Word by Debbie Macomber and it talks about choosing a word to focus on for an entire year. I love the book and highly recommend it and the principle it teaches, but this month has just been “one of those”. So, like a good subtitle on a book, I choose overwhelmed as my monthly sub-word.
There are many things in my life clamoring for first-place attention and I struggle to know which needs to be the top priority any given day. I know I’m not alone because even advertisers recognize this challenge. There are several nutrition-type periodicals that I read. One vitamin manufacturer placed a full-page ad and styled it as a letter to consumers. It touted his “Big 3” supplements that he thinks everyone should take, and was based on the idea that people he meets are overwhelmed and confused by too much, and sometimes conflicting, information. So he has simplified it for us into the “Big 3”.
He’s onto something. Not just in nutrition, but life in general. We are bombarded with information everywhere we turn. The internet is a constant companion between our computers, smart phones, smart TV’s, tablets, and smart e-readers. Sometimes I feel just plain dumb. And when it all seems like too much, I tune out. I guess I’m not only like a cat, as I wrote last week, but also like a turtle. I will pull my head into my shell and let the world go on without me when I feel overwhelmed.
At times like this, it’s easy for me to throw my hands up and say I don’t have time when it comes to writing, too. It’s simpler to pull back than engage. But I need to remember my call, the reason I write. It isn’t for only me. The Lord wants to use me to encourage others.
So when you feel overwhelmed, remember the “Big 3”:
1. Begin each day with prayer and Bible reading. I’m sure you know this, but I’m not so sure we all do it. The more packed our schedules, the more time we need in the morning to listen to the Lord and lay it all out before Him.
2. Set aside adequate time for the writing you need to do each day. Set a goal either for word-count or pages or chapters, determine how long it takes you to do it on average, and plan ahead to spend that much time in your seat. That means bottom stuck to chair. It may help to set an alarm. If you need to divide the time into chunks with physical activity in between, that’s fine.
3. Turn off all access to the internet until your writing goal is met. If you write on-line, be sure to stay on your site until you’re finished.
What strategies do you use when you feel overwhelmed? Does your writing suffer, or does writing help you focus?