Do the next thing

I am not a good multi-tasker.

Our little family was taking a day-trip out of the city recently. I was driving because I am also not a good navigator. I get extremely nauseous reading anything in the car.

Brance had given me directions for the next turn. We were getting onto a different interstate and it required that I take the exit with an A and NOT a B. Okay, no problem.

Only, Brance and I were deep in conversation like we usually are when we travel and I took exit B. We ended up on the correct interstate going the wrong direction.


Multi-tasking is supposed to be a feminine gift, but somehow I missed out on this one. I get extremely flustered when I am required to multi-task.

And recently we’ve had a lot of kettles on the fire. Lots going on and I have been feeling a little flustered if I dwell on everything that needs to be done. Okay,  a lot flustered.


I have a friend who manages her large family beautifully. Like a well-oiled machine. She’s modest and laughs and disagrees when I say so. But it’s true. I sometimes wonder what amazing things she could accomplish with my little, square family of 4.

Some people thrive in chaos. They roll up their sleeves and seem to know exactly what to do. Okay, address this issue first. And place that there. Organize and order and VOILA. 

I am not naturally one of those people: the order-from-the-chaos-variety. I am the freeze-when-overwhelmed-type.


BUT. I have found something that really helps me when I begin to feel overwhelmed and flustered. When I am required to manage more than one thing at a time. That helps keep me from freezing. IF I put it into practice

It’s a little phrase I learned several years ago from a wise woman who had learned of it from a prayer hung in an ancient church.

The prayer was beautiful and I would like to have it in its entirety. But it was this simple four-word excerpt that has helped me again and again when I have felt overwhelmed in life.

Do the next thing.

That’s it. When you are feeling overwhelmed, and frazzled, and confused…

  • do the next load of laundry
  • plan the next project
  • make the next phone call
  • begin preparing the next meal
  • read the next book to your toddler
  • organize the next drawer

I can’t even tell you how many times this has helped de-thaw me when I felt completely frozen and unable to move forward. It is helping me now as I am juggling more than I feel I can manage.

The next time you feel overwhelmed, frazzled, and unable to move forward give this a try and just see if it doesn’t help.


With Love, Lauren

P.S. Our family spent a long weekend in Maine. We saw that the weather was going to be nice and decided to head up and enjoy the rocky coasts, seafood (hello lobster rolls!), and rest. It was just lovely. And we didn’t even mind that everything was not open because we came before tourist season. You really feel like you own the town when you do.  The treatment you get in shops and restaurants is very personal because there are so few people there. Because of this, traveling out of season has become one of our favorite things to do :).




2 thoughts on “Do the next thing

  1. Oh wow! I needed to read this today…I am beyond overwhelmed with my ever growing to do list but after reading this I made my van payment and ordered end of the year testing…still have so much more to accomplish on the to do list but if I hadn’t have read this article today I probably would have just sat here paralyzed by the list instead of doing the next thing 🙂 thanks so much lauren for being honest and real!!!

  2. I am so humbled and glad to hear that this article helped you today! And if you are who I think you are, you were inspiration for the article too ;). So, thank you dear friend! Hugs and prayers as you tackle what feels like an impossible to do list.

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