These days I’m feeling very behind on things. I am absolutely thrilled that my dreams are coming true. I am working more as a freelance writer, and more opportunities are coming. In the attempt to manage my full-time work, and freelance work, every hour is seemingly booked and I feel so behind.

I think to myself, If I could only comment a little more! If I could only write 2 more posts a week for my own blog!

I think these things as if I were to do them, all other things would cease and I’d be “caught up.” The thing is, as I’m realizing, as an entrepreneur you are never caught up. Maybe you have met your deadlines, but there is another one looming right around the corner. Maybe you are done with one client, but you need to find another one.

The work is never over. Being caught up is merely a momentary sensation — more of something we tell ourselves so we can allow ourselves to relax.

I’m trying to be less hard on myself and be happy to focus on paid work. And even though I vowed to not apologize, I want to give a half-hearted lament that I’m not around as much as I’d like. I am reading, but cannot comment and share as much as I’d like. The less time I have, the more desire I have to be a part of the community.

Because I am just barely “catching up” with everything, I might be a little more absent. It might take me longer to do things. But I’m still around.

Check out where I’m on the web this week:

My First Job — life and money lessons I learned from my first job.

Is Working for a Nonprofit Right for You? — working in the nonprofit sector has its own set of challenges and rewards.

What’s the One Thing Holding You Back? — find out how my fear of failure has cost me money.

Some other posts I loved in the blogosphere:

Why Income Matters over at Well Kept Wallet, by the awesome Stefanie — I am making less in my day job than I did at 23. Granted, I have a much lower cost of living, but it still sucks. My hustling is slowly changing that, and I want to increase my income potential.

Weekly Roundup by Michelle at Fit is the New Poor — She quit her job and is now freelance! Show some support.

How are things in your world? How do you deal with your never ending to-do list?


Melanie is a freelance writer currently living in Portland, Oregon. She is passionate about education, financial literacy, and empowering people to take control of their finances. She writes about breaking up with debt, freelancing, and side hustle adventures at

Currently she puts more than 50% of her income towards debt, while living a frugal, fun life. In addition to her love of personal finance, art and music, she is also a karaoke master. Follow the adventure @DearDebtBlog.

Latest posts by Melanie (see all)

15 responses to “The Myth of Being Caught Up”

  1. Mackenzie says:

    I understand the thought of never being fully “caught up”. I used to push myself a lot more before I had kids. But after you have them, you realize your “to-do list” will never be caught up 😉

    Just make sure you take some time for yourself Melanie. Be sure to schedule some relaxation 🙂
    Mackenzie recently posted…Life, Lemonade, and UpdatesMy Profile

  2. It’s great that you are getting more work and having the chance to do what you love. Trust me I am in desperate need to change careers and actively working on it right now. So tired of dawning the combat boots, and I’m ready to retire them on a rusty shelf.

    I also love to write, but was always afraid to step out and just be heard. Your blog was one of the top three blogs that inspired me to step out and take a chance. Don’t worry, you will eventually figure it out….just try and enjoy the process for it is a blessing.

    You are living a lot of other people’s dream…..getting paid to use your creative mind.
    Petrish @ Debt Free Martini recently posted…Negative Thoughts While In DebtMy Profile

  3. E.M. says:

    Commenting and reading takes up so much time on its own! If I’m not careful, I can easily pass two hours by going through my “favorites” list in Feedly. I made that to try and cut back, but with so many great blogs being created, it’s just growing. At times I do feel like networking and promoting is never-ending, and that’s on top of your job, writing for your blog, and writing for others. I think I’m going to have to cut back a little, too!
    E.M. recently posted…Being Grateful: Thirty-Second EditionMy Profile

  4. I think we all feel that way from time to time. Just take one task at a time, and drop off the bottom tasks that aren’t as important.
    Tonya@Budget and the Beach recently posted…Decision Time/Link LoveMy Profile

  5. I’ve been feeling like this recently. Hence why I took a week off from blogging. I had 120 report due and lots of weekend work so I just took a step back to help me get back on top of things.
    Debt Busting Chick recently posted…Side Hustles: How My Sweet Spot Brings In £460 ($780) Per MonthMy Profile

  6. Lauren says:

    That’s the thing with freelance writing- you can’t finish an assignment and think, phew, all done! There’s always something else waiting to be written, or some other thing that needs to be attended to.
    Lauren recently posted…Weekly Wrap-Up #20- The Satisfaction of DoingMy Profile

  7. Michelle says:

    I totally understand! I basically have gotten to the point where I only do what is the most important task on my list first. Then, I work through the rest of my list. I’m only one person and if I want to do things well I have to pace myself. That’s part of the reason why I am taking time off from work on a regular basis, so that I can manage: health, love/life, stress, my entrepreneural dreams, etc. I was overextended and wasn’t able to manage everything well. Now I’m a lot more deliberate about everything I’m doing and I noticed a huge drop in my stress levels.

  8. I make sure to set realistic goals for the week (instead of for the day), that way I don’t get overwhelmed. It gives me free time while still tackling what’s most important. I have a weekly action plan I use (it’s on my blog, too), and that helps me stay focused. I hate the feeling of being overwhelmed, so this is a great fix!
    Natalie @ Financegirl recently posted…How Google Saved Me $4,000My Profile

  9. LOVE THIS! I’m never “caught up” either. Every time I “slack off” by taking an evening for myself/relaxing I know I’ll pay for it anyhow when in another evening I have to do double duty, working on both laundry and dishes, or dishes and yard work, etc. There truly is no such thing as caught up!
    Kayla @ Shoeaholicnomore recently posted…Feeling ExcitedMy Profile

  10. Shannon says:

    Oh man soooo true. I used to always use the phrase, “I’ll do that as soon as I’m caught up”. In fact, my trello account has lists upon lists of those such items. But in my job I’ve realized that I’m never caught up either. There’s always another five things to do behind the current to-do list. For me, I just vow to block out one hour a day to do the things that I wouldn’t want to miss due to my to-do list because of the understanding that they just won’t happen otherwise. I wish it didn’t take me so long to figure it out!
    Shannon recently posted…How Two Moves and a Major Career Change Led Me to Happiness and Financial FreedomMy Profile

  11. anna says:

    I don’t think anyone will fault you for doing things where you get paid to do so! Take as much time as you want and keep doing amazing at your side gigs, your fans will always be here. 🙂
    anna recently posted…Almost July Updates – The “Padawan” Edition!My Profile

  12. This is so right – I never really feel “caught up”. Once a goal is attained, there’s always another one waiting to be worked on. And that’s okay!
    Lisa E. @ Lisa vs. the Loans recently posted…Links Lisa Likes – Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems (Minus the Mo’ Money Part)My Profile

  13. This is TOTALLY how I’ve been feeling for the past two months. I’m never caught up, I have to find a way to deal with that without letting the stress of it get to me!
    Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life recently posted…Thank You For Your SuccessMy Profile

  14. LOL, this myth is something I struggle with every single day, but I’m working on it. 🙂 I had learned it well while in the mortgage biz, but now have fallen back into the trap of thinking that if I just work hard enough during the day, I will be caught up. Yeah, right!
    Laurie @thefrugalfarmer recently posted…Fourth of July Greetings and Great Food IdeasMy Profile

  15. I think there’s only one time where I felt like I might have been ahead of the game on my blog. Basically it was when I had 2 future posts pre-written. That was a good few days… I’ve never made it back to that point again.

    Luckily for me my blog is more of a hobby than anything else at this point. I don’t expect to really make much from it. I think if I ever get to the point where I could cover something like my cable bill each month it would be way more successful than I would have ever imagined when I started.

    But my day job is the same. I doubt I’ll ever be caught up on the work. They schedule us for 120% of our time and even if we doubled our workforce we’d probably be able to fill everyones time still. I guess that’s a good problem to have too much business but as a regular employee I don’t get to the a lot of the benefit of it, just the work.
    Zee @ Work To Not Work recently posted…Don’t Live With a False Sense of SecurityMy Profile

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