My guess is that you've got at least one to-do list. Chances are, you probably have a few more. But have you ever had a to-do list as long as your arm that doesn't get any shorter? No matter what you tick off, it seems to stay the same length, or get even longer.
It's the same when you start a project. You plan it, start it, but it never seems to get finished. Days and weeks go by and you're stuck at the same point, not getting time to work on it, not getting time to finish it.
We can spend so much of our time focusing on what we don't do, especially as bloggers. You haven't tried Periscope yet, you've not edited your photos for next week, you've not finished your free opt-in offer for your mailing list, you've not checked your Facebook groups in a week - it can become exhausting.
I've had a to-do list that's looked the same for weeks. Most of the items on it started with 'Finish...'. But nothing was ever getting completed. No matter how much I forced myself to set time aside to work on these things, it's like they'd stay at the same stage. Unfinished. It started to affect me.
I was spending so much time worrying about what I wasn't doing, that I lost enjoyment for everything I was doing. No matter what I was getting on with, in the back of my mind, I was always conscious of the fact that these things weren't getting done. And it was stupid.
It was getting to the point where I wasn't planning anything for my weekend, because I knew I could work on these unfinished tasks. How ridiculous is that?
I basically wasn't allowing myself to enjoy my time.
Why should any task be that important?
I realise this list hasn't been full of positivity so far but that's about to change. If you feel like there are endless things you have to do, or you're getting overwhelmed by everything, here are some things you can do.
Focus on what matters
When you're not focusing on what matters, you lose all enjoyment for it. You feel as if you're forcing yourself to do these things, for no other reason than because you have to.
You don't want to feel like this.
Focusing on what matters means you're enjoying what you're doing. I always used to love writing blog posts and creating images for them. But when I was worrying about what I wasn't doing, this enjoyment went away. When I changed my plan recently, as I told you yesterday, I felt as if a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. That's how you feel when you let go of what doesn't matter.
Bring the enjoyment back into your life. Ask yourself - is this really important? Do you really want to do this?
Ask if it aligns with your 'why'
Many bloggers talk about their 'why'. This refers to why they started blogging in the first place. The reason you wanted to start your blog in the first place, the reason you hit publish on that very first post. With so much advice and information out there of what we should be doing, our 'why' can actually disappear quite easily.
You know how you're always told to 'be authentic?' That the best blogs are the ones filled with authenticity? You don't get that through trying or through any form of strategy. You get it through your 'why'.
So if something doesn't align with your 'why', then maybe it isn't the right thing to do. If it doesn't align with your purpose, maybe it isn't what you really want.
You know the feeling you get when you get into bed after an amazing day? That's the feeling you should get when you've finished a blog post. It shouldn't be a sigh of relief, a moment where you think, thank goodness I've done that. You should feel happy that you've done it, a sense of accomplishment that you've finished it and most of all - you should've enjoyed yourself.
I know bloggers that get these feelings all the time and I'm so glad they do. It shows they're staying true to themselves, to their 'why'.
Decide what's more important
Is it more important to give away your Saturday afternoon so you can write a blog post about using social media for your blog, or go on a really cool adventure with your friends and blog about that?
If it's the first one, that's great! If that aligns with your 'why' and that's what matters, then that's what you've got to do.
If you're just doing that because you think you have to and you're missing out on other things, then it's not worth it.
Over the past few months, I feel as if I've not been spending my time as well as I could. I let this online space take over, and not in a good way. Tom has always said to me that if it gets to the point where I say I can't go out because I've got to do certain things for my blog, then it's getting too much. And that's exactly what happened.
Nothing is more important than family. If you're giving up time with the people you love to work on your blog, that definitely does not align with your why. I can tell you that.
I hope these few points have given you something to think about. It's like the age old saying: you don't have to do everything. It's true. Do what matters to you, what you enjoy and don't worry about what you're not doing. If they mean that much to you, you'll get them done when it's the right time.
Do you worry too much about what you're not doing? How does it affect you?