In Others’ Words: Best

Beth Vogt In Others' Words, Life, quote about life 21 Comments

doing the best quote 9.23.13It’s Monday and I’m staring down my week. There’s so much I want to give my best to: my relationships, my writing — me, even, when I think about my health.

Sometimes I spend part of one week thinking about what’s going to happen next week. A deadline looms over every day leading up to the due date. I’m living in the present and the future — and trying to balance the tension between the two. I can’t ignore the deadline, but I don’t want it to completely overshadow today.

So, the question for today — right now — is what does “the best” look like? How do I focus on what needs to be done in this moment so that I’m best prepared for the next moment … and the next … and the next?

Believe it or not, I do have at least a partial answer to my question. That whole multitasking technique? It’s a fallacy. I used to think I was accomplishing so much more — helping my kiddos with homework while I was making dinner while I was paying bills while I was doing laundry while I was packing lunches while I was …

You get the idea.

But I wasn’t. I was divided and conquered, with no one and nothing getting a decent amount of my attention. Life was a blur and things were done — but not to the best of my ability.

So now, for the most part, I “uni-task.” If I want to do my best in the moments of my day, it means being completely present in those moments as they come, one at a time.

In Your Words: What’s your Monday look like? Your week? How do you handle the moments of your life so they are a series of bests, not “wish I had done better” moments?

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What does “best” look like? Click to Tweet 

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Comments 21

  1. Thankfully my Mon. got switched. A gifted volunteer handyman who is going to move needs forward at home I’ll be moving to is coming tomorrow instead of today. Perfect, because technical problems with one online college class I teach need to be solved today–and couldn’t be from the new house. It’s a blessing lately when some events and situations that have seemed very large for me to plan easily, to see God bring answers better than I could have arranged. So grateful to have Him on the job.

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  2. Ohhhhh, THIS Monday is sort of The Dawn of The Real Deal.
    I had breakfast ast Monday with my new agent and we discussed how to progress now that I had to actually act like a grown up. The brilliant and lovely Lori Benton told a close writer friend of mine (not a ‘normal’ friend, a writer friend 😉 ) to ENJOY the pre-agented/deadlined/contracted writing life because one could live with a sort of reckless abandon not present in the agented writer’s life.
    Then at an agent panel discussion at ACFW, Sandra Bishop, who’s an agent with the MacGregor Agency, spoke about a writer under deadline was feeling overwhelmed and expressed a desire to go live on an island somewhere. Sandra said “Welcome to your dream come true, honey.”
    While I trekked home from ACFW, I was thinking that my life was about to change, not in a KA-BOOM kind of way, but in a slowly escalating way.
    My previous ‘best’ had alot of “Well, I have to check the kids’ schedules and see what’s left over for me to do the fun stuff”. Now? I have to actually guard and schedule my time to make sure I don’t get overwhelmed.
    I have to not just fit in writing time, I have to re-work how I tackle every single day and what is demanded of me.
    My old ‘best’ has now become my current ‘not good enough’.
    What sufficed before for this SAHM, such as writing when I kind of felt like it, or hanging out with friends, has now demanded I schedule my days better.

    I asked God for the chance to have an agent and maybe someday be published, now I need to honour what He’s blessed by giving Him my best.

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    2. Congratulations, Jennifer! I’m so happy for you, that you’re agented now. 🙂 May the Lord guide you as you figure out scheduling and everything else along your journey to publication. And I’m so looking forward to getting my hands on your debut book!


  3. Beth, I love this post! I, like you, found that trying to do many different things at the same time just didn’t work. I could do nothing justice! Now, with my time being my own, I focus on one thing at a time. And a new attitude helps, If I get it done, great! If I don’t get it done, hopefully, there is tomorrow!!!!!! Have a great day!

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      Yes– if I get it done — great. And like you, I’ve had to let it go if I don’t get something done. It’s okay to have a To Do list linger until tomorrow. Or the next day …

  4. I think you were in my head, Beth. I’m blogging on something similar to this topic tomorrow. 🙂

    I agree, uni-tasking is much more effective than multi-tasking. When I’m trying to accomplish too much at the same time, I inevitably forget something important. Sigh.

    I know I’m going to have moments I regret, but I’m striving to make most of them my “best” moments. Investing all of myself into the moment, especially when it involves someone I love.

    My Monday holds quiet time with Jesus, knocking a couple things off my to-do list and writing, I hope. 🙂 I hope yours is a good one!

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  5. Mondays are crazy. I’m off from my day job on Sunday and Monday. This morning, I’ve accomplished over half of my to-do list – still have grocery shopping and a hike, along with a few emails and blog visits, then back to the writing later on. Bills are paid – I’m good.

    I just do my best – that’s all I can do.

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  6. Oh, I love this! “I was divided and conquered…” Perfect way to describe the frenzy.

    This is a very busy week for me, so I chose to begin it quietly with the Lord. Instead of rushing out this morning I chose to give something more thought…literally going for best over close enough. The Lord is never in a flurry and when I choose that path I end up leaving Him behind…and the peace of His presence.

    I learned in the stretching time of planning and executing three weddings within three years that a mountain of tasks do overwhelm me, but in choosing one and, as you said, “being completely present” I carried a sense of rest into the work. So much accomplished one bite at a time without all the panic of future tasks weighing me down. I am truly hoping to keep this my plan of action this week.

    Isn’t it crazy that we know this the way to go and yet we often refuse or forget to walk in it?

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      It is crazy how we choose to ignore it … and to be honest, I did choose to ignore those quiet moments today. But, with this gentle reminder, I am going into my office, to sit in my red leather chair, and be embraced by the quiet — and by God’s love.

  7. It isn’t Monday. It’s still Thursday. I’ve been awake since then. Sick dogs, sick me.

    My best is found by embracing the suck, and being OK with Zombieland, and the knowledge that even though when I sit down I’ll be up in a few minutes to attend another crisis, I can do it. Therein lies the ability to function effectively and compassionately.

    It’s not that I know it will end. It’s like Hell Week at BUD/S. If you look to the end you get to ring the Quitter’s Bell. One step at a time.

    And it’s easier when you’ve giving your best away, either to your dogs, or your Hell Week boat crew.

    Perhaps that is how JC endured the Via Dolorosa.,

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      Sometimes that is life as we are called to it … knowing it isn’t going to get better (or even close to good) for awhile. And asking for strength for today, for this moment.
      And knowing it will be enough.
      Not my strength, but His.

    1. Agreed, Anne.
      I have T-shirt that says: If at first you don’t succeed, lower the bar.
      It became my mom-mantra.
      Not that I was aiming for mediocrity … I was just giving up on perfection.

  8. Ummm…you just knocked me square between the eyes:) I’m going to have to ponder this “uni-tasking” because it goes against my trained grain. Yet way back in the corner of my mind, I think you could be correct.

    Great post, Beth.

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