So Much To Do, So Little Time (How Do YOU Handle It All?!)

Last Updated on December 26, 2015 by Kristi Linauer

I don’t remember what Matt and I were talking about the other day, but during our conversation, I made the comment that I could live five lifetimes and still not have enough time to do all of the things I’d like to do and try.

Do you feel this way?

Do you feel like life is just passing you by at break neck speed?

Do you feel like there’s way too much to do (and way too much you want to do) to pack it all in?

I do.  And I get frustrated because after all of the sanding and painting and hammering and upholstering and decorating and crafting and blogging and cleaning and cooking and laundering (clothes, not money) and everything else that demands attention, there’s no time left to just be.


If I’m watching a movie, I’m also blogging.  If I’m enjoying a meal with Matt, I’m also thinking in the back of my mind of all of the little projects I need to finish before I go to bed.

I know that there’s no way I’m busier than everyone else.  I mean, my goodness…I just spend five minutes on The Pioneer Woman blog, and I feel like I’m the most ridiculous person in the world for complaining about having too much to do.  She runs circles around me, and still seems to have time for leisure and down time.  How in the WORLD can one person do so much?!

So yeah…I just haven’t figured out the most effective way to organize my time, so I always feel like I’m running behind.

Perhaps it’s the curse of a right-brained, creative personality.  I know I’ve heard other creative types complain of the same thing.  But I do think that efficiency and time management are things that even we right-brained, fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants types can learn if we put our minds to it.

So how to YOU get it all done?  Are you a list person?  Is your routine set in stone?  Do you use a time-management technique like the Pomodoro Technique?  Is your Franklin Covey organizer always within reach?  Are you just naturally hardwired to have perfect time-management skills?

Share your secrets.  I need to learn from you.


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  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Beverly Johnson Pennington
    April 19, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    Once you learn the secrets will you share? I print each clients list as a to-do list and the rest, well, let's just say it is in my head. Last week I put a hiatus on new business. I felt like I had to come to some sort of organizational/time management structure or I woul lose my mind. Although, when I read you I get tired (and inspired).

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 19, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    through this current house move i am finding that 1. i am way behind my mental schedule, 2. more tired than usual, 3. more tearful than usual and therefore i come to the conclusion that what i mentally want to achieve and what i can reasonably achieve are very different flavours!

    so now, i spend one hour doing per project (all about decluttering and packing just now tho) in each room then around lunchtime i'll either go on facebook or i'll go for a walk. either way, down time is temporary and short but it still happens.

    i also guess it depends whether the glass is half full or half empty….do you think of what you DID achieve in a day or are you only thinking of what you have yet to do? 😉

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jeannine Bruner
    April 19, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    glad to know you are hooked on PW, too! (PS- Im a long time follower of her blog, & she does have help- but yes, she still does a LOT!)
    As for me, I try to prioritize what I want to do. The things that are at the top of the list get done- maybe not right away, but eventually. Things that aren't as significant can be pushed back. I have 3 kids, and they are my priority. If I can't finish a craft project, so be it. They are only little once & I need to enjoy this time. Like you, I will always have projects I NEED to do, projects I WANT to do, and things that I plan on doing but don't know when. Don't sweat the small stuff! 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Mrs. Welder
    April 19, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    I'm a list maker. I still have way more I always want to accomplish but lists help me. And without lists, I might forget to put my shoes on before leaving the house. That's an exaggeration but I really could not make it without lists! I also TRY to focus on feeling happy about what I do accomplish. If I ever did cross off all the items on my list, I think it would be sad, like I did not have as much to look forward to. So you're not always running behind, you just have a lot of things to still look forward to 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 19, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    I'm like you, Kristi! My mind is in constant motion of projects I'd like to do, want to do, have to do, etc! Often my husband will ask "What are you thinking?". My reply…"You really don't want to know!" I think it might scare him! LOL!
    For me, time management comes and goes. Some days I think I've got it conquered and other days…not so much! Glad to hear I have a kindred spirit!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Vivienne @ The V Spot
    April 19, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    I just DON'T get it all done. The secret is figuring out how to not beat myself up about it. I have to keep telling myself that if I am focused on what still needs to be done, I miss the moment of what is happening right in front of me. I still struggle with it, but try to remind myself more often.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Nancy Ulrich
    April 19, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    Leverage. It's not just a tv show. There are certain things that are multipliers for the other things that you want to do. Then try to do just one of the multiplier tasks a day.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 20, 2011 at 1:06 am

    Why just watch a cool TV show, when I can watch a cool TV show AND sew new couch cushions? At the same time! 🙂

    Isn't life awesome? There are so many fun things you can do to fill up your happy days that there's no possible way to pack all the stuff in! I guess that means maybe we're supposed to aim for quality instead of quantity… or maybe it means that she who packs the most stuff in, wins. Who knows?

    As long as you're still getting enjoyment out of your days, it's probably all good. 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Anne Sullivan
    April 20, 2011 at 2:57 am

    For what it's worth, you seem to get a whole heck of a lot of things done!! I'm a grad student which is hard because if I'm not doing something I should be doing research. It eats into EVERYTHING. It expands to fill every single moment, including my dream time. My brother just recently lent me "Eat That Frog" which I found to be really full of good advice. It's helped me prioritize things and realize that there will NEVER be enough time, and so there are things that I have to let go. But by doing that consciously instead of it feeling like things are falling between the cracks it makes a huge difference.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Amy @ Increasingly Domestic
    April 20, 2011 at 6:19 am

    I have been stuggling with this same thing too, and one thing that I have had to do is to stop multi tasking all the time. Yep. Stop and enjoy the moments that make up life. I am working on being present in each moment and not stressing about what i am not doing. The to-do list will always be there. Laundry and dishes are never "done". It's just how life goes. Also, don't compare your worst to someone else's best.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    [email protected]
    April 20, 2011 at 11:54 am

    As one who has been where you are, and come out on the other side so to speak (I'm older and I'm still alive!) I have learned that "being" is a great way to spend some time. Yes, there will always be things to do, new ideas, new motivations, but taking time daily to listen to your own voice and intuition will steer you in the perfect direction all the time, and you will participate in the best of what you could be doing….not just doing. Give it a try…there will be some withdrawal angst, but do it anyway. You're welcome!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 20, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    some really nice designs

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 20, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    Hand written lists and lists of lists ……….. I find it almost impossible to just sit and watch TV. I have to be doing something else at the same time. I do have a "staging" (dumping) spot for all the things I want to do. All I have to do is walk into my laundry room and see the line of items needed for each project and grab one and start working.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    April 26, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    List on my phone, list on a white board of the fridge, this nifty day of the week dry erase list that has the days incorporated in the design for our menus, another one for my work. Routines help keep us a lean mean household machine, sort and process the mail on Mondays, launder the towels on Tuesdays. Lastly a huge dose of forgiveness. If it didn't get done today there is always tomorrow or the next day.