Friday, January 6, 2012

Time management

Recently, there was a month called December. I'm pretty sure it lasted 31 whole days, but to me it was an eye-blink.

I had a few things going on: major work on a current manuscript, preparation for an upcoming book launch (featured on Eve's Fan Garden this week, including a giveaway), and celebrating holidays with my family. Also, I have a day job.

There came a point where I had to say no to anything new. There were opportunities I would've liked to take, things I would have liked to do, people I would have liked to get to know better, but I literally didn't have the time or energy. I had reached my limit, and rather than exceed that limit, I said no.

It's hard not to feel guilty about this, but in December, I really didn't have a choice. It was a matter of survival.

I bring this up because I've heard Laurie Halse Anderson speak about the need to say no, to understand that we can't do everything all the time. I have called her speech to mind many times as I juggled my workload--and as I took necessary breaks, such as watching a movie with my husband on New Year's Eve. I remember that as I plan out my nearly-as-busy January.

So for anyone out there who feels as if they're struggling with too many tasks, too many obligations, I pass along the message: It's okay to say no. It's okay to take the phone off the hook (or send the calls straight to Voice Mail, to update that saying a bit!). It's not too much to ask that you get to sleep, to shower, to see your children before they grow up. And to write that story that's been sitting in your brain all this time, waiting.


  1. I have said not to a lot of things lately, too. I've had to or I would explode, and yet my plate is still freaking full. Sigh. It's also ok to say no to yourself, too. Sometimes there are new things I want to learn and I have to tell myself no or I would never get anything written.

  2. Michelle: Yes, that's true! I look at classes I want to take, or old hobbies I'd like to resume, and then I realize I can't fit them in right now. But I'll have plenty of options for when I retire from my day job!