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Overwhelm, Dirty Dishes & How Marie Forleo Does it All!

Trying to do it all…

Am I the only creative person out there who routinely bites off more than they can chew, then needs the Heimlich Maneuver to keep from choking on their overly ambitious to-do list? It’s one of those life lessons I seem destined to learn over and over again! (Do you have any life lessons like that?)

I habitually bite off more than I can chew!
I habitually bite off more than I can chew!

Overwhelm is like dirty dishes

Overwhelm is a bit like dirty dishes. You can start off with a clean, gleaming kitchen, but then someone leaves a dirty spoon in the sink, and that hardly seems worth bothering with. But then someone else tosses a fork in there, followed by a tea cup, and a few bowls… and before you know it, there’s a mound of dishes spilling over onto the counter and your kitchen is a wreck.


Every few months, my overwhelm sneakily builds up to the point where I have to step aside and reassess all my creative projects.

And yes, I’m at that point again!

This morning it dawned on me that rather than letting the overwhelm build up before dealing with it, I should do the same thing my hubby and I do to keep our kitchen clean: we wash dishes as we go.

So, as I mused over how I could keep up with my metaphorical dirty dishes the same way I keep up with my actual dirty dishes, Marie Forleo’s newsletter rolled in and – talk about synchronicity – her topic this week is all about dealing with overwhelm!

Marie Forleo – How To Do It All: My Unconventional Advice to Fit It All In

One snippet of advice that I found particularly helpful from Marie Forleo today is the following:

If you’re like most creatives, you have a near endless list of things you could work on or create. But if you could only have 3 top business priorities right now and 3 top personal priorities right now – specifically, what would those be?

Bonus: if you had to sing some Big Sean (If you check our Marie’s post the Big Sean reference will make sense!) to 3 specific projects or shoulds, what would those be?

So, for now, at least, I am going to do an assessment each night before bed.  This will be *my* way of “keeping up with dirty dishes” by making sure that my to-do list for the next day focuses on my 3 top personal priorities. I’ll let you know next month if it works!

How about you? How do you deal with overwhelm? Does it ever slow down your writing productivity?

What is IWSG, anyway?

150-InsecureWritersSupportGroupIWSG stands for “Insecure Writers Support Group.” It’s a monthly check-in for writers of all stripes. Its creator, Alex J. Cavanaugh, describes ISWG like this:
“Purpose of IWSG: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!” – Alex J. Cavanaugh

To read other people’s IWSG posts visit: Insecure Writers Support Group.

Want to read more like this?

To read about more weird, offbeat, and overlooked places, check out my best-selling travel guide: 
UNEXPECTED TEXAS: Your Guide to Offbeat & Overlooked History, Day Trips & Fun Things to do near Dallas & Fort Worth

For ghost hunting hot spots, check out my best-selling travel guide to haunted places: 
PARANORMAL TEXAS: Your Travel Guide to Haunted Places near Dallas & Fort Worth

For a strange-but-true tale of Texas history, check out this bizarre piece of West Texas history: 
The Lynching of the Santa Claus Bank Robber



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  1. So the dish fairy doesn’t visit you either? What the heck is she doing if not my dirty dishes?! LOL
    Trying to not overwhelm myself is why I started blogging my goals and making to do lists. If I have a list in front of me, it’s easier to figure out what to prioritize.

    • Tui Snider Tui Snider

      Yeah, where *is* that dish fairy? I could use him or her right now, in fact!

    • Tui Snider Tui Snider

      It’s working… sort of! Thank you for stopping by my blog, Alex. Feels special to have a visit from the man behind the IWSG curtain. :)

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