It’s ok to shift things to the back burner

back burner - gas stove burners

Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

At any given time, I usually have multiple projects on the go.  Some of these are attached to specific goals, while others are in support of overarching goals like developing as a writer and growing my online presence.

These projects include my blog, books that I’m reading to review, several other platforms on which I write, a couple of books in progress, and preparing for a new venture I plan to launch on my blog this summer.  It’s a fair bit going on, but usually it’s manageable.

Except lately it hasn’t been.  I’ve been struggling with my illness, and my productivity has really taken a hit.  Often these significant drops in productivity last about a week and then I’m able to start getting back on track, but this current dip has been more sustained.

My standard practice since I started blogging has been to have a store of content written ahead of time so that I can be unproductive for a while without it affecting the output that’s seen by my readers.  That has served me quite well, but it only works for so long, and right now my prewritten reserves have dwindled below my comfortable buffer level.

That means that, at least for the time being, I have to focus my limited resources on what matters the most, and shift everything else over to the back burner.  My number one priority is and always has been my blog, but beyond that picking and choosing what else should be front of mind requires some more thought.

The key, though, is to push myself to make those prioritizing decisions anyway, and give myself permission to let other things go for the time being.  Just before I started writing this, I closed a browser tab that had been sitting open for an article in progress on another site.  While that sounds minor, I don’t do well with remembering things that aren’t in front of me, so by closing that tab, I was symbolically acknowledging that I won’t be able to think about that article until I’m mentally more on the ball.

Taking a much-needed break isn’t always easy, but sometimes it’s important to allow yourself to shift things to the back burner.  The various goals and projects and everything else will still be there waiting once there’s a bit more fuel in the mental gas tank.

 

Visit the Mental Health @ Home Store to find my books Making Sense of Psychiatric Diagnosis and Psych Meds Made Simple, a mini-ebook collection focused on therapy, and plenty of free downloadable resources.

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32 thoughts on “It’s ok to shift things to the back burner

  1. BeckiesMentalMess.wordpress.com says:

    You definitely need to take care of yourself first and foremost. A couple of mental health days would not hurt you… Heck, I have felt refreshed when I stepped away for a day or two.
    You’re only human, recharge your batteries and take care of you! 💗

  2. Barb says:

    Thanks for this post, Ashley, it’s a message I needed to hear. I’m putting too much pressure on myself to write blog posts, for example, instead of taking a day or 2 off even though I have several posts scheduled.

  3. Paula Light says:

    Same here. I keep beating myself up about not writing enough or searching for places to send things already written… and then I remember… I HAVE A FULL-TIME JOB. It doesn’t help that one of my writing friends constantly pesters me about writing more, doing an audio book, etc. Anyway, yes. We have to take care. ❤️❤️❤️

  4. Luftmentsch says:

    I feel like my whole life is on the back burner right now. Just surviving is the priority. I hope one day it will change, but I’m not sure that it will.

  5. Kim Smyth says:

    We truly don’t know what’s going on in any blogger’s life on any given day. Sometimes we have personal things that keep us from being able to do our work and other times were feeling sick and not up to it p, so yes I think it’s important that sometimes we just take a break, recharge and come back stronger!!

  6. Michelle says:

    This is me at home after a long day at work most days. I just want to lay in bed and watch TV. The only time I feel productive is when I am on vacations because I all the time to do what I want

  7. Aoife says:

    I completely agree! I often find myself feeling guilty for putting this off as a result of my illness. This post is a great little reminder to say it’s ok to put things on hold to look after yourself!

  8. Meg says:

    I can totally relate. I often open browser tabs to read multiple blogs (all opened from my email), and then I’ll totally blank out and close the tabs without having accomplished it. I know that’s not exactly what you did, but it ties into the whole, “I’m forgetting all about it” theme. Out of sight, out of mind–the mentally ill memory can be horrible.

    I am so glad you keep your blog going every day! I always look forward to starting my day here! Your content is entertaining and informative!! Keep it coming!! I have every hope you’ll pick back up the other projects as well!! You’re a great internet presence, so I hope you’re not too discouraged!!

  9. motherhen76 says:

    I started out with the expectation of posting everyday, however that didn’t last long. I want to devote more time to blogging, but some days I am too exhausted and just want to relax. I feel ya..

  10. meditativeowl says:

    Absolutely – you have to find the balance that works for you, your audience will wait and be thrilled when they see you post something new, but no-one would want you to make yourself exhausted or ill over this <3

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