I didn’t post a blog on Tuesday, and today’s post is “late” according to my normal scheduling. Although I’m writing this on Friday, most of you won’t read it till Saturday or later.
I wanted to write more this week, because I’m in the middle of a series on goal-setting and I’m nearly done with it. I wanted to share all the thoughts I have about what we do once we’ve written down our goals and now we just need to implement them. I wanted to post quotes and beautiful pictures on social media and engage your hearts and minds.
Instead though, I didn’t. Those posts have been pushed to next week, and today, I’m sharing honestly with you about why normal scheduling was interrupted this week, and why that was a really good thing. It was intentional, you see, and that’s a success of sorts for me.
As you know, if you’ve been reading along, I’ve been talking a lot throughout the last month about writing goals that you actually achieve. In my last post, I shared that an important element of setting goals that you actually achieve is not to try to do everything at once. I can be quite an advocate of focus and singularity, but neither of those words could accurately be used to describe my natural inclinations. On the contrary, my natural inclinations are nearly always to do loads of things, and if at all possible, to do loads of things to a very high standard without making an compromises.
As you can no doubt imagine, that doesn’t always end very well.
So, I’m learning. I’m learning that doing one thing well, sometimes means not doing another thing at all. I’m learning that doing too many things, sometimes means doing none of them well. I’m learning, too, that as someone who is multi-passionate and who thrives on variety, I can do more than one thing, but I can only do that well if I’m ready and willing to stick to two principles:
- More than one thing does not equal all the things. There are seasons in life, and there may be a thousand things I would love to do, but sometimes, in certain seasons, we have to make exclusive choices. Sometimes those choices may include multiple commitments, but rarely if ever will they include all the possible commitments.
- Prioritise. Or as I also think of it painful compromise. People sometimes ask me how I find time to do my blog when I’ve got my PhD to do as well. Part of the answer is that the way I’m wired is such that I do better in everything when I’ve got some variety going on, but the other part of the answer is the painful part – sometimes I have to choose. I have to compromise. I don’t like that part.
I’ve been thinking about Principle Number 2 a lot lately, especially in relation to this blog. I love writing here, and the more I write, the more I realise I have a message that I’m passionate about sharing and serving others with too. I would really like to grow and develop more as a writer, and to allow this website to grow and develop more. I think and believe that that is possible, to an extent, even with the other commitments I have.
I also know that if I don’t make some cold, hard choices in advance, when kick comes to shove – and it will – I will kick against Principle Number 2. I know, from experience, that if I haven’t decided in advance what my priorities are, I will find myself up against the wall with a tricky choice between Commitment A and Commitment B and I will look at that choice, and with fire in my eyes and grit in my teeth I will stare down that choice and growl “BOTH!”
And then I will be late to someone’s birthday party, probably. That’s what usually happens.
Here’s the problem: sometimes “BOTH!” is a costly option. Sometime “BOTH” actually means burnout. Sometimes “BOTH” actually means letting down the people we say we’re committed to. Sometimes “BOTH” actually means “NEITHER.”
So this week, I’ve been working on prioritising. When I’ve found myself up against the wall, I’ve looked my choices in the eyes and I’ve stopped and thought “What is my priority here? What is realistic?” Then I’ve gritted my teeth and instead of growling “BOTH!” I’ve made a choice. I’ve made a compromise.
That’s why I didn’t post this week, until now. I love writing, and Lord willing, I will keep writing, but here’s the thing. I know this blog will only work if it’s not my top priority. It will never be my top priority, because I’ve already made some big commitments to some important people and I know they need to come first.
So here’s what I’d love you to do. Every time I don’t post, and you notice that I didn’t post, imagine that I wrote an amazing post on prioritising, and compromising, and honouring those we love the most with our best, because behind the scenes, that’s probably what I’m trying to do.
Featurd Image by Aleksandra Boguslawska via Unsplash