How to Protect Your Time from Too Many Good Ideas

It’s finally started to warm up here, just a little. We opened up the doors and windows for a short time today.

When I was moving out of my old apartment a couple of months ago, one of the funny things was seeing all the stuff for my hobbies. Some were supplies for things that I didn’t have time to do. It was all stuff I had good intentions for. Fabric for the apron I never made. Parts of the crochet afghan I started back in 1997. Some of it was for interests that I have moved away from, ready to learn something new.

When you spend as much time reading blogs as I do, you see a lot of good ideas. Reading blogs has replaced magazines and television for me. There’s a lot of talent out there and a lot of inspiration. I bookmark countless ideas. I love them all.

For me, it’s entertainment, mostly. I’d rather see how something new and creative is made than watch a reality show on television with fake drama. I like learning new skills. It looks really interesting and comes with pretty pictures in all my favorite colors.

Lately have you seen the instructions for homemade sprinkles for your cupcakes? That’s something that I would never have thought to make.

And that’s my dilemma: trying to decide what to spend my time on when I see so many nice ideas each and every day.

I see someone else do something, and I think, “How interesting.”

That becomes “If they can do it, maybe I could do it.”

And somehow in my brain that morphs into, “and maybe I should do it.”

Suddenly my true priorities and plans have been swept aside by pictures of pink handmade sprinkles. Before someone calls me anti-sprinkle, let me just say that they are super cute, surely much better than the store-bought variety, and I think whoever came up with them is creative and clever.

I just don’t think it’s a coincidence that one of our biggest challenges is time management and priorities. We see the things that other people are doing and try to do them all.

Did you know that when I was getting ready to move, I almost bought art supplies so I could take up painting while we were here in Italy? I thought that sounded like a good idea. I still do — I think it’s a nice idea, but since I find creative outlets with writing and photography, the realities of my life with two small kids mean the art supplies would likely stay unused.

A few years ago I made up a plan about my priorities for my time. Recently as I was thinking through it again, I also found this online mind map tool useful.

Just because I could do something, doesn’t mean I should. I have to protect my time from all of my good ideas.

If the homemade sprinkles fit into the plan (maybe as an activity for quality time with someone), then great. Otherwise I’ll just enjoy looking at the photos while I’m on a break before I close the computer and return to my day.

Are you like me  — do you find it hard to be reasonable about how many ideas you can fit into your day?


Congratulations to Cate, Rana, Jackie, Julianna, Heidi, and Sheri for winning a copy of Simple Blogging, and thanks to all of you who commented on the giveaway post with such encouragement. It felt so great to read your comments this weekend.

About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. I LOVE that you included the homemade sprinkles idea – it’s the perfect example and just made me chuckle since it seems so enticing:) I also have so many bits and pieces of projects I start (or intend to start) and just don’t get to. I’ve started doing the Steady Days idea of making myself a list of 3-4 things I *must* get done each day, even if it’s just laundry. If I have time beyond that, then I explore more. Sometimes I do include a craft or fun project/idea on my list but they just always take up so much more time than I intend, so I have to really, really want to do it – that helps me so much to weed out ideas that I just think are fun vs. things I really want to do in my life.
    Lillian´s last post…Justice For Henry

  2. Great post, Rachel :) I myself don’t do art projects like that, but I tend to play computer games all day long. Whenever I see a new game I might like, I just have to buy it. Crazy, I know :p

    I love those huge windows by the way! Gorgeous!
    Maaike Quinn @ Life with FlyLady´s last post…How to do FlyLady when you work outside the home

  3. You are so wise! So many times people take on projects thinking that a homemade version will save money. Even if it saves money, that is not our most valuable resource. Our time is! And so, I’m with you! I love to celebrate the creativity of others because I think that is part of the Divine Nature God placed in all of us. But it doesn’t mean I need to put their project on my list. What I get out of it is the joy of seeing Him in their giftings. And then allow Him to determine what should go on my list.
    I Live in an Antbed´s last post…Bridges of Communication

  4. This is a great post and one that I desperately needed to read today. I, like you, really enjoy reading blogs, but I often find myself on inspiration overload.

    • “Inspiration overload.”

      That’s the perfect description for it.

      • See this is what I love about your blog?

        I LOVE to be challenged in my thinking. I recently started a list called “crafty things to do” and I’m not even crafty.

        I do still love to have just a little bit of creativity but maybe I should allocate some time in my time budget for just enough, but not “inspiration overload” as the other Rachel calls it.
        Marcia Francois´s last post…How I organise my reading – slightly OCD

        • Marcia! How did you and I end up in the same place? What a small world blogging is!

          I loved this post! I’ve often thought, as I sit and read 20 blogs, I’m reading TWENTY different people’s ideas, so how can ONE me do them all?

          Blessings Rachel,

  5. This is one of my biggest pitfalls. I am constantly reevaluating how to set realistic goals. I found the post you linked to on setting priorities so helpful–this is something I intend to do today! Thanks for sharing!
    Wendy´s last post…2 days- 7 rows- lessons learned in the garden

  6. Aw, Rachel. I just heart you. I know that I will always leave here with encouragement toward clearer priorities, which makes your blog one that NEVER wastes my time. Thank you!
    Minnesotamom´s last post…Grateful for Snow

  7. It is definitely a struggle to weigh out what is important. I mean there is lots of good stuff out there! But that doesn’t mean I should do them all, even if I could. I am in the process of trying to build a business from my blog. I constantly read *great* ideas, but I can’t and shouldn’t try to implement them all. Each of us has to find what is important to us and focus on those things.
    Great inspiration for me today Rachel!
    Living the Balanced Life´s last post…Ahh- the American Dream… and a cure

  8. Great post! I have been struggling with this lately. I have so many interests that sometimes it’s hard to pick which ones I actually want to pursue.
    Cate´s last post…Master Bathroom- After

  9. Great post, Rachel! I’m so happy to find out I’m not the only one who starts amazing projects, never to complete them. I carry around huge guilt because of this compulsion. Maybe not a compulsion exactly, more like an irresistible urge to try something new. But with age comes wisdom and I don’t give in to those creative urges as much as I did when I was young! Also like you, I love reading blogs much, much more than reading magazines! It’s fascinating and inspiring. And it’s cheaper!!!
    M´s last post…All-In-One Meal

  10. ‘Just because I could do something, doesn’t mean I should.’

    Love that!

    Did you get the email I sent last Saturday?
    heidi @ wonder woman wannabe´s last post…Decorating a Cheery and Bright Boys Room on a Dime

  11. Thank you Rachel! I’m really excited about reading your book.

    As for finding time to do all these cool ideas. I have an ongoing link list of things that I have found from other blogs and every once in a while I will look at it and see if I have some or most of the materials to do the project, if I do then I spend some time working on it. Other wise I leave it for another time when I can get to it.
    Rana´s last post…Project SimplifyLets get cleaning!

  12. Wow…I feel like you posted this just for me! I’ve been struggling with this for a while. I’ve always loved crafting, cooking, and any other creative projects that come my way. This year, though, I’m homeschooling my children. Time management is a problem. My mind is flooded with projects and crafts that I’d love to try but can’t seem to find the time to do. It just contributes to my to-do list, which is impossible to complete. Thank you for this post…just when I needed it:)

  13. Perfect article for me to read today. Not only do I have idea overload from reading all those lovely blogs but from my own brain as well. Then I get frozen, not knowing where to start and makes me sit around not getting anything done as I don’t know where to start. I was ashamed just yesterday looking over my newly vamped craft room at all the stuff I hoard in there. All with well intended ideas, just sitting there for years even. Sigh…..
    Deanna´s last post…As for me and my house

    • Lauren Bayles says:

      Oh, Deanna, thank you so much for posting this! The same thing happens to me. Paralysis! Then I beat myself up for it. Look forward to checking out your blog.

    • Ditto! I hate it so much. Here is a giant “to do ” list and I get to nervous? to know where to start so I just don’t. Instead I just collect more ideas of things to do that I won’t ever really get around to. This is SO ME! (Hey I just clicked on your blog link. I “know” you. I subscribe to your blog)

  14. It’s nice to see that I am not alone =)

  15. “For me, it’s entertainment, mostly. I’d rather see how something new and creative is made than watch a reality show on television with fake drama. I like learning new skills. It looks really interesting and comes with pretty pictures in all my favorite colors.”

    Yes! Yes! And YES!!!

    I purged my life of “someday” hobbies and supplies 7 or 8 years ago. It’s freeing. Of course that gave me leave to stock up on my chosen hobby, sewing, and I’ve got stuff for every aspect of that now. I’m not sure which is worse. lol

    Now for me, I saw, probably, the same post on homemade sprinkles and wondered if I should try it. Because of a food allergy, I can’t eat ready made ones. And honestly, I miss sprinkles. But I miss they ice cream they go on more… {sigh} I haven’t made them yet, and I most likely won’t, but I understand the dilemma.

    Thanks for letting me know I’m not alone. : )

    • Yes! The “someday” hobbies! I finally let go of sewing things, art things, and everything except my knitting and crocheting supplies. Because if I’m going to sit down and be crafty, I want to *know* I’m going to enjoy it. If “someday” I’m good enough at those others, well, that’s not necessarily enough to enjoy it TODAY.

  16. Christine says:

    Oh man, this is almost exactly what I’ve been struggling with lately! Trying to figure out how to manage my time and getting bogged down with things I feel like I need to do, that I really don’t need to do. Thanks for the article!
    Christine´s last post…What happens when they leave me by myself

  17. Thank you so much for choosing me. I can’t wait to start reading your e-book.

    • I’m so glad you’re looking forward to reading it. But just to make sure that everyone understands, the winners were chosen randomly by a number generator. I don’t personally select them.

  18. YES! I find myself to be a creative person and a pack rat. Not a good combination! I was so excited to move into our new house because I would actually have a room for all my craft stuff (sewing, scrapbooking, etc.). But how often do I use it? Maybe once a month…

  19. Oh good heavens yes. In any given week, I’m working, mommy-ing, tending house, volunteering, gardening, and wishing I could keep up with all the super-bloggers out there who post every single day.

    It’s hard to slow down and say “no” to worthwhile tasks (like volunteering for every charity that comes along). But the Peanut and Baby-to-be won’t be little for long, so this time is theirs. ;o)
    BrownThumbMama´s last post…Winner! The Edible Front Yard

  20. I hear you! Every now and then I sit down and jot all of the ideas and plans swimming in my head down on paper or on a computer file so I can get back to whatever is important in the moment — then when I have time, I can weed out the good plans from the “what-was-I-thinking” ones. It helps me concentrate and gives me something to look forward to.
    jennifer´s last post…created-on my needles – the sweater obsession edition

  21. Suzanne says:

    Blogs have replaced my TV time. Using flipboard on my iPad makes me feel like I am reading magazines. I do get overloaded with creative ideas and sometimes, I need to just say UNCLE!

  22. I, too, am one of those people that would rather read an online DIY than watch reality TV. The bookmarks folder on my browser has a section for crafts that contains at least 50 links! Prioritizing in many areas of my life (money, time, commitments, friendships) is really difficult, but I am really thankful for posts like these that encourage me to really work to get to a place where I feel like my life is in balance.

    P.S. Here is another awesome, free mind-map tool:

  23. Good gravy – you’re in my head! This is SOOOO me – just ask my husband. I have accumulated stuff from every possible craft project – canvases, art sets, a handmade easel he made me in one of my “artist” phases – and then there’s the scrapbook stuff, the brads/eyelets, the bins of fabric, zippers, the mosaic tile grout I used for one project, and of course – jewelry making supplies. I CAN do a lot of different things, but doesn’t mean I SHOULD – so true & have to keep telling myself OVER and OVER. I can have fascinations with projects or ideas, but need to focus my time/energy on what I’m CALLED to do in this season. It’s writing and singing right now and if I’m constantly filling my schedule with other things, I won’t have time for my purpose and passions.
    Mela Kamin´s last post…More 4-10

  24. This sounds exactly like me and is something I have been working hard on. I have a ridiculously long list of things I want to do and it is only slightly longer than the list of things that actually “need” to be done during my day. I need to reprioritize my lists and find that balance so that when I do actually find a moment to craft I’m not so overwhelmed by my list that I don’t know where to start and waste all my free time looking.

  25. Yes! I was just telling my husband last night that I felt like I was running out of time to do creative things, rather than just the daily list of “must-dos”… Part of my overload is from reading so many good ideas! I want to try them all, but sometimes just sitting and reading quietly with my daughter is all I should do.

    Hillary’s last blog post…………

  26. Oh, my, yes. Lately, my husband has been reminding me not to read too many blogs because I start to compare myself with everyone else. I don’t think I do, but then I start to think those same things: “Well, if they can do it, why can’t I?” or “They make it look so easy!” or, the very worst, “If I could do all the stuff they do, then my life would be as awesome as I think their life is.” Of course, none of it is conscious, but once you realize you do it, it is necessary to take a step back.

    I’ve had to take quite a bit of time to myself to decide what it is I need from life. It’s hard to see all the possibilities and not be discontented with what you have. But we can’t live all the possibilities; at some point, we have to choose what we do and be happy with it.

    I picked up some knitting needles to try; that didn’t work out that well. I’m really glad I spent $10 to realize that crafting isn’t for me rather than decking out a whole craft room just to let it collect dust.

    Just as it is important to decide only a few good things to do each day, it is important to decide on which few creative things provide an outlet and you can invest the time in to do well.
    Jennie´s last post…Living a Balanced Life as an Innately Unbalanced Human Being

  27. What a fantastic post! Just last month I decided to “give it up” and clear out my garage that was packed with unfinished projects. What a relief.

    And thanks for the book. Now I can’t say I’ve never won anything, lol! It’s been on my mind for about 6 months to start a blog. Guess it’s time. ;-)

  28. Oh, how very true. Everything you said. I just get so excited about the wealth of good ideas that flow from all these cooks and crafty people online! I know I need to streamline it. Protect my time. That’s a great way to describe that idea. Thanks for that.

    And since I didn’t win your book, I’m gonna just have to buy it. =)
    Kristen@PrettySweet´s last post…Starstruck- Meeting The Pioneer Woman

  29. Do I struggle with this? Oh my word, YES! It’s not even about being on “inspriration overload;” I come up with plenty of ideas to try or things that I want to do on my own. I try to ask myself “Is this the best use of my time,” but sometimes I get made about it–wishing the answer was “yes” instead of “no.”

  30. I agree with you when you mention entertainment when visiting sites.
    I look forward to searching for new craft ideas and sharing it with others.
    Sometimes the wealth of information is overwhelming and I change my routine..such a creature of habit to going over to a different topic.
    Not enjoying typing with a band aid on my finger at the moment.
    It brings all my interests into one, including me time.
    This morning laying awake, trying to remember when did I find that great idea to make the idea folder…still looking.

    Thanks for your honesty.
    Happy mind mapping..such a wonderful visual tool!
    Tracy´s last post…Kittys farewell

  31. TOOOOOOO True! {would you like to take a trip to my basement to visit all of the yarn, craft paint, scrapbooking paper, fabric & unfinished projects??} I have been trying to find that balance…focusing on just a few things, rather than the 100s that interest me! Lisa
    Lisa´s last post…Been There…Getting Ready to Do That

  32. I just made this commitment to myself today – no more crafts until I finish what I’ve already bought. For me, it’s because I buy stuff on sale or thrifted with plans to use it “some day”. I never seem to get to some day.

  33. In the olden days when we were a two kid family I would do a bi-annual trip to a local craft store and “stock-up” and then we ran out of space!!! And I began decluttering… I got rid of every single project that wasn’t finished – drastic I know but they just weren’t getting done…and we were swamped with impending projects. I got rid of everything except the basics and decided not to buy anything until we needed it. Years later with many more kids we are still using the same packet of crayons!!! So we have just the basics and we do a whole lot of creating… we definitely don’t have all the gear.

    When I started blogging I bookmarked everything!!! I loved it!!! There were so many projects and so many things to do… and oh my big weakness – quilts!!! How I wish I quilted – imagine one for each kid!!! The reality is that these projects would lie around and I would feel guilty and they wouldn’t get done. So I have a new hobby… I look at other folks crafting, I enjoy watching them work, I love endless crafty blogs packed with ideas… I enjoy them for what they are… ideas and inspiration!!! Let’s face it I love looking at beautiful homes but I don’t have a collection of them!!!

  34. I can TOTALLY relate to this post. I have long lists of things I want to do mostly from all the awesome blogs (like this one!) that I read. I’ll attempt to tackle an item on my list by gathering the supplies, only to find the supplies sitting in a pile in my closet because I was never able to get to it! Or, I start projects and don’t finish them….This year I have focused on getting one project a month done and I don’t start another until one is finished! But….I still keep bookmarking hundreds of great ideas….

  35. I can relate. When I want to try an idea, I first decide on the project’s compexity, how long it will take to do, how expensive, and, most importantly, its longevity. Homemade sprinkles will be eaten up in a flash, so that’s a short-longevity, no-go idea for me.

    However, I am refurbishing a hutch that my mother never got around to doing in the 35 years she had it. This hutch will have a purpose, will fit in my dining room, and has been relatively inexpensive to fix up. A project like that is worth it to me.

    I also tend to avoid holiday-oriented crafts, since they will only be around for a few weeks oer year. I prefer projects that I can have out year-round, or at least until I tire of them.

  36. I hear what you are saying LOUD and clear – I am pulled into a million tangent directions with “good ideas” … what I now ask myself is : Do I love the IDEA of the project (e.g. patchwork – yes, I love the colours of the fabrics, the patterns, the ‘idea’!!) OR would I really enjoy doing it … AND, do I have the time, space and patience to do patchwork – no I don’t! So, I have learned to love things from a far and concentrate only on what I can do.
    Mandy´s last post…Our very first investment property how we did it!!

  37. I feel the same way when it comes to writing my cooking blog ~ so many ideas, so little time. I’ll start working on one cooking series, then I’ll try to keep that going while I review cookbooks for Gooseberry Patch and start other projects and reviews. I work full-time, too, so I’m limited to evenings and weekends to get this thing up and running. Plus, I feel like I have to keep the recipes and posts coming fairly quickly to keep my followers interested and reading. It’s been a lot of fun and very rewarding. I just wish there were two Kims to get everything done.
    Kim McCallie´s last post…Homeat Night

  38. Rachel you always have a good mix. I am jealous.

    I am also jealous of the caption under the photo
    “It’s finally started to warm up here, just a little. We opened up the doors and windows for a short time today.”

  39. I know exactly where you are coming from. Guilty as charged. Just to make matters worse then I start wondering is there a way to make money out of the idea. Maybe I need a psychiatrist.

  40. I just saw two ideas today that I thought “I should do that!” about, but really, I don’t have the time. This is a hard area in which to achieve balance!
    Emily Joyce´s last post…Undeserved Gifts- Lessons Learned Again

  41. Not many ideas can be fit my day:(

    sandy toe

  42. You are so right on…and something I always struggle with. I’ve been thinking about this A LOT lately as I’ve been trying to hone in on some of the passions and gifts God has given me and “figure out” what direction to go with some projects. It’s easy to get distracted and not only does that steal our time, it steals our purpose and effectiveness.

    For me, it also has to do with figuring out and knowing who I am. It took me a long time to be able to admit, “I love that outfit on so-and-so or in such-and-such a store, but it’s not the right fit for me.”

    A lot of times in life, we’re so busy ‘trying on’ everyone else’s gifts rather than focusing on and developing our own. I wonder what would happen if we stopped comparing and started embracing all that He has designed for each unique one of us.

    I think I went out on a little tangent there, but this post definitely spoke to that struggle in me! Thank you!
    Erika´s last post…When the burden weighs heavy -

  43. GREAT post!! I read the title and thought, “OMG, that’s so me!!” I too love blogs and ideas and I’m always thinking of something new or a new way to do something. It is a quality I like, but at times it keeps me from living in the moment.

    Example, I was in the process of starting an event planning business and talking to my husband and said, “So, I was thinking I could expand and do some professional organizing as another service” His response, “Why don’t you get the first idea going, and go from there.”

    I’m glad he keeps me focused…or tries. :)
    Canaan Rice´s last post…In 19 months I’ve learned –

  44. Lauren Bayles says:

    I absolutely relate to this — as I do to most of the things you post. Another of my problems is finding a way to archive all the awesome creative ideas and projects I come across. I use Firefox, and find that its bookmarking system doesn’t really work for me (or perhaps I’m not using it as efficiently as I could). How do you archive all the ideas in a way that you can access them quickly and easily? Would love any tips you can share. Thanks!

  45. you’re always so practical rachel! Thank you!

  46. I am the same way! A lot of women from my church knit, crochet, and quilt. I love creating with my own two hands, but to be honest I really love reading and I’d rather stretch my mind with a good book than spend months working on a blanket. Maybe someday I will see more importance to it. In the meantime I have a basket full of yarn and projects racking me with guilt! Maybe my children will find pleasure in finishing them!
    Frances´s last post…Lent

  47. love this. i mean… i am terrible at this and definitely can’t say… “yes, yes i do give up things that look fun for the sake of my priorities” but i’d love to get there one day. have you read anything by shauna niequist? she recommends making a list of things you DON’T do. since we can to everything and do it well, we should make a list of things we don’t and won’t do. when those things come up (for me it would be gardening) you know… wait a second… i don’t do that! so its not even an option. i like it.
    becca´s last post…preview

  48. Yes, Yes and YES! I always over schedule and usually, I NEVER write down “create _______” it’s the mundane stuff of life which is important but never makes room for other things!! this afternoon, my daughter came home from school and took one look at my neatly printed “list” for Wed. and said “mommy, you still have a lot of things to do!”

    Seriously, when the 9 year old thinks the list is too long….what is there to do?!!!

  49. oh yes, I get SO many great ideas from blogs now. I wish I had time to do even 1% of the ideas that I see!! My “ideas” file is lonnnng. At least it’s all on paper, and not taking up any physical room. But, I think I could still use to go through that list and cross some things out…
    Handy Man, Crafty Woman´s last post…Happy Thursday

  50. I so relate to this! However, something beautiful has happened lately and I don’t even know how…my time and energy have suddenly become incredibly valuable to me and I find myself wanting to protect it more and more. Now, when I read about some awesome project going on in the blogosphere, I feel that little catch of “Ooh, ooh! I could do that!” quickly followed by, “But do I want to? Is that how I want to spend my time and energy?” The yesses and nos are getting clearer all the time. Like I said, I don’t know what happened, but I am grateful for it!
    Maggie @ Maggie’s Nest´s last post…Blog-spiration

  51. I have this same issue. I think picking one or figuring out a way to simplify and not feel tempted to over-do is what we all face.
    home-made sprinkles made me laugh hysterically.

  52. I think I need to put this on my fridge! “Just because I could do something, doesn’t mean I should.” This is so important for me because I have so many interests. The whole…I could do that!, is so familiar.

  53. This really speaks to me. I do this all the time. The other day I found myself looking up essential oils, because I’d decided I was now going to make all of our bubble bath. What a great but terrible idea–I’m so glad I got distracted before I actually ordered anything. That’s the other thing–it can be a money drain, because buying new supplies is so much fun and feels more virtuous than buying a ready-made product.

    I think this speaks, to some extent, to our DIY culture, which can easily become an “I must do everything for myself” mindset. I have to remind myself that there’s virtue in financially supporting good businesses, especially ones that make useful and beautiful things and need my support to succeed! This is a huge, ongoing shift for me.

  54. Thank you so much for this post! I have a backlog of bookmarked blog posts filled to the brim with great ideas I’d like to try. I’m pretty good about not feeling like I have to actually do all of them, but I can definitely relate to letting my crafty blog reading interrupt my life. Your writing is always so relevant–thank you for such thoughtful posts–and I love your Simple Blogging ebook!
    Amy´s last post…This Aint No Ordinary Bed Skirt

  55. Wow…you hit the nail on the head. I’ve always felt like my curiosity and relentless desire to learn new and interesting things was both a blessing and a curse but never really was able to put into words why that is true. It’s like having a huge weight removed from my shoulders to realize (thanks to your words) that just because I may WANT to do/learn/create/etc. all of these wonderful things doesn’t mean I will be a failure if I don’t! In fact, the opposite is true. Thank you for this wonderful reminder.

  56. I loved your post today. Just where I am at. I have plenty of those unfinished projects and like you, love all those inspirational ideas. Thank you for challenging me to prioritize whether “I can” over “I should” or “want to!”. I am a busy mom with a business, and number 3 on the way. All those cute little ideas for baby clothes, decor etc. are exciting me but then there is the reality of limited time! I also love that you have taken the brave move overseas, and what a beautiful destination you chose. I am an Aussie living in the USA.

  57. It’s the homemade laundry soap that gets me! I mean, if they can all do it, why can’t I? Why shouldn’t I?

    I am with you. It’s a daily chore to remind myself that I was never intended to be Superwoman. God gave me certain gifts and abilities that He wants me to spend some of my time developing… He gave others the domestic gifts.

    My kids adore my friends who have the baking gift. Adore them!
    ET @ Titus2:3-5´s last post…Cravings- Talking to God- and Bathrooms

  58. Funny you should post this, I just got done looking at a few blogs and was seriously considering buying ikea dressers and redoing them! And here I was today stressing out because of all the things on my to-do and having no idea where to start. lol

  59. Loved this post! I keep separate lists of all the projects I have going/want to do and I organize my life and home David Allen, Getting things Done, style. Keeps me sane and content know that I am keeping track of all the projects/ideas in a safe place outside of my brain!
    Mom-enclature´s last post…A Blessed Life- My Three Year Adoption Anniversary

  60. I love this!
    I am always saving blog posts and pressuring myself to do things that I just think are so creative and wonderful. Then I kick myself for not doing it — which is completely unfair to myself.
    I am learning to just be thrilled that other people are doing them, and that they are sharing them with us.
    I love your blog! Glad I stumbled across it!
    Sarah´s last post…What Mommy Does When She Goes Out at Night

  61. Oh my goodness. What a great post. I certainly deal with this as well.

    There are so many things that I WANT to do, but I just can’t do them all in this season of life.

    And yet too often I still try.

    Thank you for this reminder!

    Actually, just today I decided to start re-reading your ebook (for the 3rd time!) because there are so many aspects of blogging that I need to put in the “not now” category.

    Thanks for sharing all of your wisdom!

  62. Did you subconsciously know that I would stumble across your blog today? What a RELIEF that I am not the only one experiencing this “inspiration overload.” I love reading blogs and being inspired by the people, the crafts, the photography and the stories. There are so many projects I want to try and so many that I’ve bought the materials for but never gotten to or started and never finished. I will try to remember the statement: “just because you can doesn’t mean you should.” Thanks!
    Patty´s last post…Madison Veggie “Chips” Pure DelightAlright- so

  63. Actually, Dr. Paul McHugh wrote a really good book about psychiatry and he made this observation about things in our culture–just because something can be done, doesn’t mean it should be. He was speaking of a particular surgery in that case, but I’ve thought about that statement so many times and though I hadn’t applied it to my priorities, I can see how it applies.

  64. fabulous post and something I so needed to read right now… except that now I am off in search of links to home made sprinkles! LOL
    katepickle´s last post…Things I know…

  65. Great post. I do the same thing, since my friends are all busier than I am with school. I keep adding new things but never starting them: learn guitar, spanish, finally start my blog, make my own natural mineral makeup, write real letters to friends back home, and maybe learn to sew and sell pretty nature-inspired stuff on etsy.

    Wow, looks like I need to prioritize :)

  66. This post really speaks to me. I LOVE browsing all the creative blogs out there. Years ago I bought a bunch of scrapbooking supplies on clearance and squirreled them away for “some day.” Well, “some day” never came and I just chucked it all, no regrets. I’ll admire the work of others and smile at my emptier closet!

  67. Just so you know, you wrote this one just for me. Thank you!
    Bonita´s last post…Where Steps Will Lead

  68. I do struggle with this same thing. The beauty of the internet is that it connects us with so many creative people and ideas….but it doesn’t free up time for us to do them, necessarily!
    Tiffany´s last post…Peter Rabbit Organics Fruit and Veggie Pouches GIVEAWAY!!!

  69. Oh overload can come very easily if I get carried away with all of the good ideas and intentions! If it is something that really interests me, then I jot it down it in my binder for a while. I can later review it and decide if I will really do it or not!
    Paula@Simply Sandwich´s last post…Do As I Say…Not As I Do!

  70. Wow, what perfect timing for this post! I got home today thinking about all of the things I need/want to do this weekend. A few hours later, I’m still skimming craigslist for furniture to refurnish. Nevermind I don’t need furniture. Or that I have furniture that I already bought to refinish and haven’t done it. Thanks for the sanity check!

  71. What a good post. The words resonate very much in our house. Priority juggling and time management are so difficult when you want to be creative. I have so many bookmarks and saved ideas, inspirations floating round my head – I find it’s hard to choose.

  72. Oh my, YES!!!!! I recently read an article on time management (on a blog…darn that entertainment! LOL) and one of the most profound things she said was that it “looks” to others that she is doing it all, but that she learned long ago that she is not gifted in all areas. And when she started JUST working on her gifted areas then she started getting SO much more done. So it’s been making me think a lot about what I’m gifted in, what I WANT to do with my time, and what I need to just put away for another season of life. Thank you for your timely post!
    Amy´s last post…The Learning Room – Versatility

  73. This is a brilliant post and has certainly hit the mark for me! Like you say, I’ve replaced magazines and the like with blogging – and it means there’s so many more gorgeous things to see and activities to try. I’m like a butterfly and drawn to so many of these beauties that I see around blogland. I used to find I wanted to try almost everything – because I could – that was a couple of years ago in my early blogging days. But nowadays, I’ll see something, think it’s cute, but I’ve become much more selective in what I want to try out. I’ve also reduced the number of blogs I visit regularly, because it’s too easy to be swept along by somebody else’s priorities and forget my own. It means I don’t get around to leave as many comments as I did in the past, but I’m able to preserve my own identity a bit more :-)
    Thanks for this thought provoking post – I’m now realising how much craft stuff I need to get rid of, unused of course ;-)

  74. Enjoying a project online and leaving it there is akin to what I did when I started making a serious progress in paying off my debt. I would see something in a store I wanted deperately. But I would tell myself to enjoy it in the store and that I could come back and look at it again. Of course I have forgotten most everything I so badly wanted–the money I would have spent is in the bank or applied to debt, and I don’t have more stuff clogging up my space, requiring my attention to take care of it. Yay for that!

    But the arts and crafts–oh good golly. I still have a stash of stuff from before my financial reawakening and I constantly am dreaming up new ideas. I used to try to find an hour every evening working on that stuff but now I use that time to exercise. I have set new priorities in putting my health first but I have got to figure out some time to work on crafts. I miss it so much!

  75. Off topic, but. . . I hope you post more pictures of the apt.!!!
    carmina burana´s last post…Winter- refreshed

  76. Your post hit home with me. I am learning to quilt and every quilt I see on the net that I like, large or small, I bookmark it. There is not enough hours in the day to make them all, so for now I just look at the pretty pictures.
    don_mae´s last post…Barn Raising… Barn Raising

  77. We’re redoing my craft room right now, so this comes at the perfect time. I really need to get rid of a bunch of things that I got for just these reasons. I can’t believe all of the things that I have because I thought, “If they can do that, so can I.” It’s just silly. I look at these things and can’t help but say, “What was I thinking? Why did I buy that?” What a waste of my time and money!
    Angie @ Many Little Blessings´s last post…7 Quick Takes- March 11- 2011 Vol 74

  78. oh my goodness YES! I totally struggle with this and I didn’t even realize it was such an issue until I read your post, haha. Good ideas are wonderful and I would miss not having the inspiration but filtering out the ideas to go along with my priorities is an excellent idea indeed.
    Kristen (Creative Stash)´s last post…art masterpiece- russell

  79. Three cheers for this post! You nailed it. I’m closing my computer now . . but not until I share this on Facebook. THEN I’m closing my computer!
    Courtney´s last post…Weekend Word- Prepare

  80. You took the words out of my mouth, or put them in. I am always trying to fiercely protect my time, my family’s time. How easy to always think, “I could do that.” I’m still learning to appreciate the talent of others without trying to add another talent to mine when I likely won’t follow through. Priorities, priorities! Enjoy every second of Italy.
    Tracey´s last post…FUNDAY MONDAY

  81. TinyBeanHR says:

    I loved your post, Its as if you were writing from inside my head… apart from I am still so far off being able to stop myself being distracted. My OH is worse than me as he has ADHD so when I notice him getting distracted I just sing Twinkle, Twinkle. It reminds him (and me) to get back to the present and try to stay focused.

    Love your blog x x x
    Hugs from France

  82. I can relate 100%. I am constantly wanting to do more. I want to only spend time doing creative things, looking at creative things, and this is why my clothes from last week’s laundry load is still on the floor.

    My recent demise has been pinterest have you seen it it will totally suck you in.
    Damaris @Kitchen Corners´s last post…In light of everything last week seems like forever ago

  83. Very timely … I have LOTS of inspiration and good ideas all the time, and it’s only recently that I’ve stopped trying to do them all. I prefer to sketch them out in a special notebook with lots of notations and ideas jotted down. If I get to do it later, great. If not, then I’ve satisfied my mini-obsession with it by spending an hour scribbling it down. It took a while to get the hang of this, as my work is creative-based, and sometimes people expect me to try every little thing.
    Dawn Lewis´s last post…Hello Dollies is back on Etsy!

  84. I have definitely struggled with this over the years. The temptation is still there, but years of experience, a quick reality check and a 950 sq ft apartment that’s overflowing helps keep it at bay. On of the things I now say is “I can do that, but will I?” Ninety percent of the time we know what the answer is.
    ByGProductions´s last post…In the Beginning – About Me

  85. I’m so glad I read this today. I certainly try not to overload myself but I do suffer from creating too many projects. Thank you for making me feel like I’m not alone :) and giving me tips to try to stop this cycle.
    Kristin Peoples´s last post…Last Chance to Load These Coupon on Your Plus Card

  86. Oh goodness. This is so completely me. I’ll get it in my head that I really need to try this new recipe I found for pudding that sounds absolutely like the most amazing thing ever, then if I don’t get to it because the 17m.o. is fussy or the 4y.o. is crabby or I end up making bread and then crackers and I somehow do a billion other things and don’t make the pudding I get all bent out of shape because “I just wanted to make some darn pudding and why is this so darn difficult?!” Um, yeah. Definitely need to work on this. Thanks for this post. I just might frame it. *sigh* off to work on my inspiration overload.

  87. Thanks for a superb article…so many thoughts I want to take from this one :-)
    I definitely overestimate my own awesomeness unless I’m careful to actually pencil in a rough time frame on my to-do list. When I start actually putting numbers to all the big ideas, it forces me to choose what’s important.
    Progress, not perfection…I still have days I “lose” to a craft or project, but thankfully they’re getting fewer, and the hours I choose to devote to a craft or project are all that much sweeter.
    Rebecca´s last post…Planning for a Horrible- No Good- Very Bad Day

  88. Thanks for this important reminder. My life is full of a lot of good things! Blogs show me lots of other good things to do. I have to stay focused on the better things!
    Legos and Lightsabers´s last post…Blogging about Teens

  89. Yes, yes, yes! I love to flit from one activity to another and rarely finish anything. I am a starter, but not a finisher. This is an area I’ve been working on. Cutting out things you enjoy is tough for me, but with five children, homeschooling some, some in PS and one in college and a hubby that has very difficult work schedule and is often away, I just don’t have time to do all that I want to do.

    Thanks for sharing.

  90. This might just be the most useful, enlightening and important blog post that I have read in a really long time. Months ago, I started to realize how spread out I felt – like an octopus with tentacles out in every direction. And slowly, I have looked at the things I have said “yes” to and am figuring out how to reel it all in, closer to my priorities.

    Thank you, thank you for reminding me that I don’t have to do everything I see, or help everyone I come across, or save every project for a rainy day.

  91. Thanks for this post… yes, so many great ideas! I was just thinking the other day that I should do hand-made cards again – hang on, I don’t send cards anymore, I use e-cards?! It is hard to make those decisions… love having some input from your experience to help me think it through… thanks again :)
    angelvalerie´s last post…living in the past…

  92. I followed a link from planningwithkids to your blog… glad I did!
    So it’s not just me with idea overload and time underload!
    I am inspired by your post, but clearly a long way from being cured since my first action after reading it was to google ‘homemade sprinkles’. *sigh*
    Thanks for the ‘food’ for thought!

  93. Oh boy do I need to learn this! MY brain simply OVERLOADS on ideas and being a rather rash and impulsive person I rush out to make it happen whilst other things fall by the way side. The trick is how to retrain yourself to just let them go, and how to determine which are worth doing… Then I’d get more sleep! :)

  94. I just found your website through Ohdeeoh and I have found some of your old posts really resonate with me! I have the same problem with the great idea blogs. I saw the sprinkles one and thought, I must make cupcakes and try this–never mind that I am trying to eliminate sweets from my house and already have 3 jars of store-bought sprinkles. Thanks for pointing out that living delibrately means choosing priorities carefully!

  95. This post helped me to decide not to continue doing triathlons and inspired a blog post. I am someone with idea overload and resultant guilt for not accomplishing all of these wonderful things. I’m ready to read your whole blog! Thanks for your great insights.

  96. Boy can I relate to THIS one! I am a creative, right-brained thinker who is a multi-media artist. That may sound like a gift, but what that often means for me is t-r-o-u-b-l-e, if I’m not careful:)

    Thank you, Rachel.
    Michelle´s last post…I Am Convinced-Eat the Dessert First!

  97. Yes, I live in a family of “dreamers”. We are always thinking of things to make, things to do, people to love, places to go.

    And then reality sets in. I am off to exercise and read the Bible and pray about my priorities.

    Thank you!

    (“Met” you at the DIY Ministry webinar. Thanks.)
    Adrienne @ Whole New Mom´s last post…“Beans and Rice” — and “Rice and — Fudge”?