My Secret To Keeping Up With All The Demands

The holiday season is full of demands. We have our to-do lists that run longer than a novel--baking an old-fashioned fruit cake, mixing fresh snow into ice cream for the kids, and hand-embroidering a Christmas stocking for the pet hamster.

Okay, so not really. But most of us feel the increased pressure in one form or another. Even without the holiday, we already struggle to keep up with the demands of work, family, and our activities. Add on to that our writing, blogging, and other social networking.

During my posts last week on blogging, many of the comments lamented the scarcity of time and the inability to keep up with everything:

"My time is so very very limited... I can't take the time to comment on all the blogs I want."

"I got to where I had to have a time limit. It (blogging) was interfering with my writing. And I don't want that to happen."

"I'm still trying to figure out how to effectively balance blogging with life's other demands."

I think we all ask ourselves at some point: How can we possibly hope to keep up with blogging, much less adding Twitter and Facebook? How can we do any of those things effectively and still have time for writing? And then how can we have sufficient time for our writing without neglecting other real life responsibilities?

Last week a very sweet friend, Jeanette Levellie, sent me a Facebook message and asked me this question: Please tell me your secret for keeping up with all the blogs you follow, face book, twitter, your book, and your family.

My secret? Hmmm. . .

Here was my initial answer: I really have no secret and constantly struggle with how to keep up with the social networking. I think there comes a point where we just can't keep up with everyone anymore.

After thinking about "my secret" for a few more days, however, I realized there are two things I already do to an extent but need to do more often.

1. Show Grace. First, we need to show grace to ourselves. We have to realize it's physically impossible to keep up with all of the demands of writing and life. We can only do so much, and sometimes we just have to sit back and say, "I did enough. I wasn't perfect. But it was enough for now."

Second, we need to extend grace to one another. We all like to repay visits to those who comment on our blogs. But there are times when we can't. I won't stop liking or following those who don't swing by every time I post. I realize my blog is not the most important thing in your life!

In other words, I understand that you can't always read my posts, even when I read yours. And hopefully you'll understand when I can't make it to yours. Last week, I tried but just couldn't respond to everyone who visited me. Thank you for all of your comments. I LOVED them. But please forgive me for not being able to repay all of your visits.

2. Evaluate Priorities. Sometimes we need to show ourselves grace, and then there are times we need to give ourselves a lecture on the value of hard work, then plop our behind in the chair, and work diligently with our whole heart and soul on the things that need to be a priority.

It's all too easy to get side-tracked by those good, but lesser important priorities. I want to take the next couple posts to discuss how we set priorities--for our writing and our personal lives.

For today, I'd love to hear your thoughts about showing grace. How do you handle the pressure to keep up with all of the demands? Do you need to give yourself or others a break from the pressure to keep up?

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