My plate often feels overfilled. I hear this from many people. But I learned the hard way that trying to do it all leads to stress, low energy, other health issues and, you often get nothing done properly. Self-empowerment includes prioritizing what you have to do. And, making sure you don’t prioritize other people’s needs over your own, which is not self-loving or helpful to you!
When I was trying to get my career off the ground I jumped from one thing to another. I was writing many books at one time but never tried to get one published because I was so busy going from one to another. I enjoyed what I was doing to an extent. I’d feel excited writing since it lent itself to my dreams, except that I didn’t make any career progress. To some degree, I didn’t want to try to get one of my books published since if I was rejected, I wouldn’t have the pleasure of my dreams to live with.
After years of this pattern, I finally decided I wanted to get something published. My first thought was I wanted all my books to get deals at once. But then I realized that if I kept going the way I’d been, nothing would ever become a book. I knew I had to make the effort to set a priority—choose one book to focus on writing and getting a deal for. To get myself on the right path, I asked myself:
• Do I want this badly enough to set and keep priorities? Yes! I knew I did want it enough. It was getting silly to keep writing books that no one would read.
• Am I willing to choose one thing to focus on bringing to fruition? Yes! In my case it was choosing one book to go after a publishing deal for.
• What’s the best goal to do first? I had to decide which book had the best chance for getting a deal so I could move on from there and do my other goals, a few at a time.
• Can I focus all my energy on the goal I picked? If you can’t, then it’s not the right goal to do first.
If you’ve been jumping from one thing to another, decide what’s most important to you and put all your energy into it. Put other goals aside—for now—and do your best to make that one goal happen. When you succeed it might allow you to move to other goals. I chose to write the Real Deal: How to Get Signed to a Record Label, because there were no other books on that topic and I felt there was a strong market for it. I was right. I got the proposal for it and some sample chapters into good shape and got my first book deal.
Once I go that first deal, I was able to leverage my status as a published author with a book that was selling well to get more deals. My first editor asked me to write Start & Run Your Own Record Label. I told him I would, as long as he was okay with me also getting a deal for All Men are Jerks Until Proven Otherwise at the same time. He had no problem with it so I went from no book deals to three by prioritizing. Each choice of which to do next was made with a combo of asking to be spiritually guided and objectively assessing which was the best goal to focus on.
My music business books have all been best sellers around the world and All Men are Jerks Until Proven Otherwise was just released in its 15th Anniversary edition. Setting priorities and working on the first book only and then focusing on just two more opened the doors that got me to where I am today. All the books I was writing back then have been published over the years since. Had I continued jumping from one book to another I’d probably still be wishing to be a published author.
If you’re working on many things for work or play and don’t seem to get any done, make one or two a priority and you’ll accomplish more. Choose the day you are absolutely going to do laundry, get the clothes ready in advance do it. While waiting for the machines to finish, polish your resume and explore job opportunities online. Laundry might seem like it should be low on your priority list but I hear too many people complaining about not having enough time to wash their clothes or tidy their living space and can tell it makes them unhappy.
So choose a household core and a goal to do something that’s important you. Write them down in big letters. Think of them as your priorities and do what you can to get them done. You’ll feel great after you accomplish chores and goals!
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