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When You're Juggling Too Much

Tantz_Aerine at 12:00AM, Sept. 7, 2019

We've all had periods like this- everything that needs to be done yesterday just keeps piling up and up, demanding your time and your energy and focus, and you only wish you could clone yourself to get it all done in time.

Especially when it so happens that you must juggle two jobs- the day job and the art job- you might feel a little stretched too thin.

This is dangerous if it happens for a prolonged period of time. It is an almost certain way to get burnt out and feel unable to be creative or able to work on anything else.

On the other hand, it's easier said than done sometimes to just ‘take it easy’ or ‘take some time off’ or ‘shake it up a little’. Sometimes you just have to do it all. So what then?

Seeing as I'm going through one of those periods, I thought I'd share my brainstorming on how to handle something like this without getting burnt out.

1. Choose your battles

Sometimes, you not only can't, you shouldn't try to get everything to be perfect. Sometimes, it has to be only good enough. That isn't to say that you should compromise by producing mediocre work. Just that you should work with the goal in mind being that your work (including your art) should just make the cut (whatever that means for you), not go above and beyond. You can always go back when you're less stressed to yield to your perfectionism.

2. Prioritize your tasks strategically

Estimate based on your previous experience which types of tasks you can only do when you are rested and which ones you can do even when you are exhausted at the end of the day. Always do the tasks you won't be able to do when you're tired first, even if they are relatively less important (but necessary). Then stack accordingly. That way, one task won't knock you out of the work day.

3. Rely on those you can rely on

If you can push back some deadlines, do it. Rely on the people who trust you enough to wait for you. If you want, add extra rewards for that trust and the waiting time, knowing you will give those rewards when the highly stressful period has passed.

4. Don't do it for a prolonged period of time (if you can)

All these are band aids. They will not help if you keep on working under such high demands and stress for too long. In the end even if you aren't burnt out, exhaustion will catch up with you. So try as best you can to relieve yourself of the stress as quickly as possible.

How do you deal with juggling too many tasks at once?

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AmeliaP at 5:28PM, Sept. 8, 2019

You've touched my weak point, Tantz ^^ Like Freddy Mercury said, "I want it all, I want it all, and I want it now".

EssayBee at 7:27AM, Sept. 8, 2019

What a coincidence. I'm just recovering from such a break with Dude in Distress. The above points are all good, and if you do have to take a break of more than a week or two, I find it helpful to tell readers a ballpark return date and treat that as a hard deadline (+/-1 week). During the break, try to at least do some sketching or writing to keep things fresh in your mind--that way you'll hopefully have some material to use when you can jump back in, making it feel more like you're easing back in instead of like you're starting from scratch.

xailenrath at 8:41PM, Sept. 7, 2019

If only I had the strength. I'm right there with dpat57! This one hits me right where I live! ( )

hushicho at 3:53PM, Sept. 7, 2019

One piece of advice I've always shared when I can is this: when you wake up, think about your tasks for the day and place them into three categories. Those three categories are things you need to do today, things you'd like to do today, and things that would be very nice if you could get done today. The first category should be your first priority, things that are in need of doing. The second, you can feel very accomplished and satisfied indeed, but you don't strictly have to do them. The third are the most unessential, and you can do them now or another time, but you'll feel very much ahead of things if you do any of them. Some days, you just naturally have the capacity to accomplish more. In this way of prioritizing, it enables a steady accomplishment. Just be sure to know your capabilities and limitations, and work within them.

dpat57 at 5:00AM, Sept. 7, 2019

How do I deal with juggling too many tasks at once? Well the first thing I do is start another comic because that always helps. It's a fresh thought and a shiny new juggling ball to distract me from all the other annoying stuff! Cheap therapy.

usedbooks at 3:44AM, Sept. 7, 2019

I am a maker of lists. I keep a dry erase board on my fridge that I call my fridge brain. When I think of something I need to do, I add it to fridge brain. Then I practice chore triage. I do what is urgent, and if I find there is too much, I leave others for later. As long as they are on fridge brain, they won't be forgotten.

bravo1102 at 3:13AM, Sept. 7, 2019

How do I? If I truly knew I'd write a self-help book and make lots of money. Little bites. Don't gorge yourself with all-nighters doing one project, but bits here and bits there to keep yourself from getting burned out. The whole point is to avoid burn-out.

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