I don’t have a picture to go with this post.
So how about a cute picture of my dog?

Two weeks ago, I went into my 4-day Labor Day weekend feeling more than a little scatterbrained – as in, my mind was so scattered I couldn’t focus on anything.  There was so much I wanted to get done in those four days: ready a manuscript to send to my agent, plan revisions on another project, draft a short story that was under contract, read through the galley pages of The Caged Graves a second time, fulfill my promise to beta-read two manuscripts, and schedule blog posts for the upcoming week.  But with all these things swimming around in my head, I couldn’t focus on any one of them, and it was stressing me out.
So my husband made martinis, took me out to the hot tub, and made me recite everything I thought I had to do – along with the due date for each, where applicable. And he made me see that all of it was doable in its own time – and that not all of it needed to be done that weekend. The short story isn’t even due until December – why was I worrying about it in September? Some of the projects just required me to put my butt in the chair and do it – like the beta readings – but others were going to need to simmer over a few days – like the revision plans.
He wanted me to make a schedule, but schedules give me a rash!  Just having the dates and priorities pointed out to me was enough to rein in all those scattered pieces of my brain. And he also made me see the importance of walking away from every single one of them for large chunks of the weekend.  I took a bike ride with my husband, watched a movie with my girls, read a book for pleasure, and enjoyed the company of visitors.
Out of the seven things I wanted to get done, only three of them were finished by the end of the weekend.  But then again, the rest didn’t need to be. My goals were unrealistic and unnecessary.
When you take on too much – what helps you wrangle control of your scattered tasks? Thank heavens for my sensible spouse (and the hot tub/martini didn’t hurt either). What helps you?