Today I’ve got an article running on Roo Mag about how to say “no” and make someone feel loved. Many women struggle with saying “yes” to too many things, then end up feeling ragged, worn-out and wonder how that happened. If you need some tips on how to say “no,” I hope you’ll visit Roo Mag for some suggestions.
But what if you are already overwhelmed? How do you get control over your life? As I thought about this concept, the idea of editing came to mind. And I wondered if any of the editing skills I use for writing could be applied to a life. See what you think:
Clarify your point
One of the most common mistakes beginning writers make is to try to say too much in too little space. When this happens, I can finish reading an article and have no idea what the author was trying to say. To be effective, the author needs to have one clear takeaway point in mind before writing the article, then stay true to that message. Otherwise, it’s just a lot of interesting words.
What is most important to you? Do you know your priorities? Are you clear on your main purposes in life? Once you know that, it becomes easier to say no to extraneous activity.
Remove that which is unnecessary
Tightening sentence construction is a bit like a treasure hunt to me, as I dig through fluff to uncover the most impactful words. For example, it’s amazing how many times we write the word “that.” In most instances, it can be removed and the sentence only gets stronger.
Wordiness is distracting to the reader. It steals attention from the main point and weakens the message.
The same can be true for us. I’ve been guilty of being involved in so many activities and spreading myself so thin that my impact in any one area is limited. I love this quote from Rick Warren in the Purpose Driven Life: “If you want your life to have impact, focus it. Stop dabbling. Stop trying to do it all. Do less. Prune away even good activities and do only that which matters most. Never confuse activity with productivity.”
Can you do that? Can you prune away activities that take away from your main purpose?
Choose vivid and descriptive, over bland
Instead of walk, use a verb that shows me how your character walked. Did he strut? Did she skip?
Instead of using two weak adjectives, use one vivid word. Rather than short and round, write dumpy or squat.
What is the highest and best use of your life? This starts with me understanding how God made me, and accepting my strengths and weaknesses. I want to serve God with my strengths, which is where I’ll be more effective. If I’m constantly serving in weak areas, I’ll work twice as hard or long than I need to.
Of course, some responsibilities are important and they might not use our strengths. In those instances, we need to work to the best of our ability, offering our all for our Heavenly Father.
Editing my life is an ongoing process. And it takes honesty and work. I’m pretty good at saying “no” these days, but I still find myself having to evaluate my commitments. And some times, even with the best intentions, I’ve had to back out of a commitment I made when it conflicts with my priorities.
We only have one life. And we don’t know how long that will last. So I’m daily aware of the importance of making every decision count. I want to hear the words “Well done faithful servant” one day.
Thanks for joining me today. May the Lord bless you!
In Christ’s Love,