Why We Keep Trying to Do it All

Images courtesy of luigi diamanti, photosck, marcus, marin, Ambro, Keerati / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Images courtesy of luigi diamanti, photosck, marcus, marin, Ambro, Keerati / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I couldn’t sleep. Not because of worry about a loved one or a crisis or impending deadlines. I couldn’t sleep because I suddenly felt the enormity of trying to do it all.

Not Just a Matter of Managing Time

I’ve always been fond of the notion that if I find the right time management approach, I’ll be able to do it all. I’ve been testing a different method of getting things done each week and I keep finding ways to be productive. But none of my task hacks have decreased my giant list of things I think I should be doing–and doing well.

Not Just a Matter of Saying No

Well-meaning friends tell me to “just say no.” The problem with this advice is that I’m rarely asked to add more to my workload. The really obnoxious person who keeps adding projects to my list is ME. But I’m not the only one who does this.

Not Just Me

One of my girlfriends discovered Pinterest this year. After spending time perusing the craft, decor, and cooking pins, she whispered shamefully, “I’m not doing any of those things. I think I should be.” That was so funny and so sad at the same time.

It’s That I’m Not Enough

It wasn’t until I read Debora Spar’s article that I realized why I refuse to say “no” to trying to do it all. She wrote:

…women today spend an inordinate amount of time attacking one another…Rather than condemn Adele for a few extra pounds, we might just revel in her extraordinary music.

But will women take her advice and drop the Mean Girls routine? Will women stop judging one another for not doing it all ?

My gut tells me “no” and so I continue my attempt to get A’s in everything.

I feel guilty about that, too. Here. Let me share the guilt:

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were stilltrying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10

As a Christian woman, I shouldn’t care if I’m judged by my tennis team for missing the shot, by the parent educator for not making mac ‘n cheese from scratch, or by talented decorators for leaving wallpaper up for 13 years.

But you know what? I DO care.

Debora’s article helped me understand why I keep trying to do it all; I don’t want to be insulted, gossiped about, or rejected. But how do I STOP? For that, I had to turn to God’s Word.

Normally, I would try to share everything I learned in one post, but not this time! If you aren’t too busy doing it all, I’d love for you to join me at The Inspired Day for more.

Do you feel pressure to do it all like I do? What do you do to cope with that pressure?


6 Responses to Why We Keep Trying to Do it All
  1. Missy
    July 2, 2013 | 10:16 am

    Usually, I’ve found, if I’m feeling that pressure, it will only be because I’m feeling convicted of some area on my to-do list that I’ve truly neglected. And then, of course, the enemy swoops right in to add guilt and shame to my already convicted heart.

    I love the verse that you included from Galatians. It is one of my go-to’s for when I’m feeling low. I have an audience of One and He says that His grace is sufficient for me. Extra pounds, lackluster meals, and all. I’m trying to rest right in that truth.

    What a great reminder, here, Melanie.

  2. Barb
    July 2, 2013 | 6:05 pm

    It never occurred to me that women would judge me for not doing everything and getting everything done, Melanie – I better squash that thought right away! All I need is one more standard to live up to. 🙂

    I do tend to judge myself based on what I get done. It’s crazy, I didn’t start having problems basing my identity on what I got done until i actually became a person who DID get things done. I wonder why that is?

    • Melanie Wilson
      July 4, 2013 | 9:51 am

      Definitely ignore that thought, Barb. lol I do think we tend to judge ourselves in light of what others might think, even if we’re not aware of how our own standards have been shaped. I think our culture is one to always move the bar beyond reach. If you start getting things done, you should get even more things done! It’s better to keep your focus on the Lord Who never raises the bar. He doesn’t need to; Jesus finished the race for us.

  3. Melanie Wilson
    July 2, 2013 | 7:26 pm

    Missy, I responded to you hours ago and it disappeared. It’s been one of those days. 🙂

    I can relate to what you’re saying. Unfortunately, I feel convicted about too many things: from my videos sitting unedited and not enjoyed to not spending enough time with the dog!

    I think God is in my audience, but His voice is often drowned out by the crowd I’ve let influence me (including the media). Thanks for the reminder that I really just have an audience of One.

  4. Deb
    July 4, 2013 | 1:14 pm

    Mel, You know you hit one of my favorite hot buttons . . . not trying to get it all done (as a good procrastinator I gave up on that ages ago), but the need for women to compare themselves to each other and try to outdo each other. If only I could remember to do everything “as unto the Lord” I would procrastinate less and worry much less about the evaluations of others. Great reminder! Thanks!

  5. Ginger Harrington
    July 14, 2013 | 2:30 pm

    Great points in this post. So often the things in which we are chasing after excellence end up chasing us. Love the Galatians 1:10 verse that makes such a strong statement about the pull to please others. Somehow, I am in need of frequent reminders of the very truth I know and believe.