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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

So much to do, so little time!

I'm behind. I'm running out of time and motivation in my days well before I get everything I want done. I need to be staying up later or getting up earlier or something. The new sewing room is so lovely and enticing at 5 pm, but by the time I can get down there at 8pm I'm already settling in at the computer instead. I've got tons of things I want to work on as well as a few things with deadlines, but that chair is just so darn comfy.

I've got stacks of books that I really want to read, and every day at least one book I already own is blogged somewhere and suddenly I urgently need to read it. Fortunately the Read-a-thon is coming and perhaps I can catch up a little there. Still haven't formally signed up since I already know I'll be going it alone with the boys all day that day, but I will.

And Google Reader! WOW. I've managed to overwhelm myself with all your lovely blogs. I turned off total unread counts several weeks ago so that I am not stressed out by it, but I can tell you it's closer to 1000+ than to 0. Which leads me to mention something else- with so many blogs, many of which have the word "books" in the title, it's sometimes hard for me to keep you all straight. Here's what I've started to do: if you don't post a lot I still read you one or two posts at a time. If you're a frequent poster I tend to let you build up for a week (or two if I'm really behind) and then read it all in one fell swoop. I'll click through on the ones that I want to comment on, so you sometimes see me posting comments to several old posts all at once. This actually works well for me because then I can focus on YOUR blog instead of it being scattered in with a lot of others. Obviously, there are exceptions to this, but right now it's working for me. The other benefit is that I can skim all those weekly memes at all once instead of spending all day Tuesday paging through Tuesday Teasers. The downfall is that I miss most contests and catch a lot of great conversations at the tail end.

Edited to add: Just as I hit publish on this post I got notification that I won a slot in a ecourse on marketing your craft business. I am SO excited to take the class, I really think it'll be incredibly useful, but there's more time to set aside.

Any tips? What do you do when you feel overwhelmed by everything? To do lists? Naps? Blog breaks (no!)? Hole up with a good book and a glass of wine? How do you keep your blog reader managable? (Yes, I know I'm subscribed to too much stuff. I'm working on that one.) What is the first thing to go when you're feeling behind? What do you find impossible to give up?


  1. hold's possible to turn off unread counts in Google Reader? How on earth...?? I just tried to do so under 'preferences' and couldn't find it...mind tell me how you did it? Many thanks!

  2. I think this is something that we all struggle with and I expect it's especially hard for working moms of young kids like you. I think you just have to put your family first, do whatever else you can and then quit worrying about it.

  3. Bibliolatrist, you go up to the top of the left column where it says "All items" then click the down arrow and it's there. That will turn off the total, but you'll see see counts on each individual blog. If you want them ALL off then you click the down arrow by "Subscriptions" and turn them off in that menu. I just turn off the total, my brain doesn't add the rest at a glance so it doesn't bother me.

  4. I'm addicted to my google reader too. Here's what I do:
    - first thing I do when I open the reader is to click on all of the posts I can tell I am not interested in (to mark then read),
    - use my iPhone to do this when I'm waiting for a bus, or, you know, sitting in Waikiki while my husband goes to get me a cup of coffee. ;)
    - when I realize I'm doing that often for a blog, I cut it.

    With that said, I'm pondering some short blog breaks too. I really want to get my quilting space to be a relaxing haven and it's never going to get there if I let my 2 year old play in there with me and then run to my computer as soon as he wakes up.

  5. I feel for you, Lisa. Most of the time I feel like I'm always behind in something. I have a book tour date this week and still haven't written the review. Once that's done though, I have no date specific commitments to worry about. That's been a big relief. I've been putting in more reading in the late evenings before bed lately, something I haven't been able to do in a while.

    Juggling that Google Reader with everything else sure can be a challenge. I get so anxious when I have too many unread posts. I don't always get to them the day the posts go up and often will find myself playing catch up at the end of the week. Sometimes I do what you've been doing and read the posts in groupings by blogs and other times I go in order of date.

    One thing I've started doing that has helped me is that I prioritize my commenting on other blogs when I get behind. I'll comment on the blogs of those who have left me comments first. Then I move to my Google Reader. I have several folders set up based on priority. My "Now and Then" folder is for blogs that I read occasionally and/or rarely comment on, for example. I also have a "New Blogs" folder where I put new subscriptions. It's kind of like putting a blog on probation until I decide if it's one I want to follow. There are a variety of other categories that really only would make sense to me. It helps keep me somewhat organized.

    I'm not afraid to use the "marked as read" button if I get too overwhelmed. I try not to do that too often though. I'm more likely to just read the posts though and not comment. Not commenting on every post saves a lot of time.

    I don't think I've seen my Google Reader get as high as 1000. I start freaking out when I get into the 200's. LOL I think the highest it's been is into the 600's.

  6. Gosh, I'm long winded! Some days I can't think of much to say and others, I just won't shut up. Sorry about that, Lisa.

  7. Sadly, the only thing i can do is weed out blogs I don't read as much. It helps. But I'm a compulsive finisher, as I've said before, so I couldn't deal with several hundred unread blog posts...

  8. Congrats on winning that slot! :)

    I have a tiered folder system for managing book blogs! And when I'm feeling overwhelmed, I make a to-do list, but then I also get a comfort read and curl up with a big mug of tea.

  9. Carefully reading each blog is the first thing to go. I also prioritize them. And if it's a book blog, I can whip through them pretty quickly. (Which is why I always appreciate people who can sum up what they thought of a book in one or two short paragraphs, LOL!)

  10. I think your method has worked for me too. Ill be posting comments on a weeks worth or more of posts on some blogs, but there are some that I keep up with daily.

    I think we all have this problem...and we're all ok with it. When you get to it, you get to it.

  11. When you find the secret to not falling behind in something, let me know. My house is always messy - even though I feel like I am constantly doing something. I read while I run on the treadmill, use the elliptical or exercise bike just so I can multi-task, but even with that I am just as far behind on things as ever.

  12. as you know I just posted about this too! I'm still trying to get caught up myself...

  13. I think I'm one of the few that doesn't use folders with Google Reader. But I do skim to weed out posts I won't comment on, then I go back and read the ones that are left. And I still don't comment on all of those...there's just not enough time.

    Responding to comments on my own blog is usually the first thing that goes when I'm crunched for time.

  14. I took those three days away from posting and reading blogs to work on my blog transfer and I swear, when I finally had a chance to sit down to catch-up, I nearly worked myself into a frenzy. PLUS, I got a Blackberry and it's set to notify me every time an email comes in, every time there is a FB message to me, etc. Since I was away from the puter, the phone kept dinging every time something came in! It was freaking me out how many emails were coming in and I was in no shape to read them!

    What did I do? I sat down to catch-up on them. I felt much better once I had a handle on them. I think you need to deal with the one issue that stresses you out the most and then the rest sort of falls into place.

    If your reader is stressing you out and you know there is no way in heck you are going to read 1000+ posts, mark them as read and then set aside 15 min a day to skim so you can stay on top of it.

  15. I would love to give you some answers on the time thing. But I'm in the same boat you are. Too many things going on, and just not enough time to do it! If you find out anything that can help, I'm all ears.

    Congrats on the class. Sounds like it could be incredibly helpful!

  16. We all struggle with the same things. Sometimes it all just seems like too much. I sometimes have to step away from the laptop but that doesn't happen often. I did delete some of the blogs that I was reading and kept the ones that I really like. That has helped. You can get sucked in and never get anything done. I use to look at cooking blogs all the time but I now have a handful that I look at every day. Don't be so hard on yourself for not getting something done. You work outside the home, you have 2 small kids, and a husband. That equals a lot to do. Just do what you enjoy and forget about the things that aren't getting done. And also lists. LISTS LISTS LISTS! That always works for me:)

  17. Blogging my way works for me (letting reader get to 200+ and then commenting on everything), but I often wonder if people get irked at me leaving 5 comments in one day on posts that are really old. And I can't read all the comments before mine (which sometimes I really want to!), and contests, too. It's frustrating, but I just can't get on the computer every day. Sometimes not even every other day or every third day. Ugh. So I hear ya. I don't know what the solution is. AND I don't want to be sitting in front of the computer for hours every day. There are other things in life, too, right? Not to mention the reading I'm not doing because I'm blogging. It's evil. Plan and simple evil.

    Oh, I also tend to ramble in my comments when I'm behind in blogging. Seems funny, huh? To ramble instead of leaving short comments like "this sounds great!" :)

  18. I have no idea how to tell you to manage your blog reader. Mine stays at 1000+ unread almost all the time now. I do think I should weed out the blogs that don't review the kinds of books that I like to read but some of the people running those blogs are so nice that I'd feel guilty un-following them. Great, guilt by social media! Hope you and I both figure it out. LOL!

  19. I am totally working on getting through Google Reader right now. I usually try and just PLOW through once a week, and then stay caught up for a day or two before I let it pile up again. Ugh!

  20. 1 - a regular Reader cull is essential.

    2 - I'm a firm believer in identifying the thing that is most persistent in my thoughts; that nagging, stressy, "I really need to do that" thing...and then do THAT one thing...and it's amazing how everything else seems to shrink and become manageable. In my case, it's because I do lots of other fun, easy things before the procrastinated project...and the longer that p. project sits...the larger and more unappealing it becomes. So now, I just do it, knowing it will not be more fun to wait.


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