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The Challenge: Overwhelming Demands

The Challenge: Overwhelming Demands

THE children need your attention​—now. So does your employer. Your spouse is calling. All this while you are trying to care for your ailing parent. This is not the life you planned, but it consumes you every day. “What can I do?” you ask. “People need me!” Responding to their every demand may not be in your best interests​—or theirs. How can you regain control?


By acting as sole judge of Israel in Bible times, Moses may have felt he was simply doing what was needed. But his father-in-law told him: “What you are doing is not good. You will surely wear out.” He suggested that Moses delegate much of the judging to capable men who would, in turn, bring only the hardest cases to Moses. The result? Moses’ father-in-law assured him: “You will be able to stand the strain, and everyone will go home satisfied.”​—Exodus 18:17-23.


As mentioned in the opening article, Delina suffers with dystonia, a neuromuscular disorder. She also cares for her three disabled siblings. “I’ve found that taking one day at a time and avoiding procrastination reduces stress,” she says. “Being open about my situation has resulted in my receiving assistance from others, including my husband. Also, I take a little time each morning for gardening​—something that brings me a lot of satisfaction.”

“There is an appointed time for everything.”​—Ecclesiastes 3:1


If overwhelming demands control your life, try the following:

  • See if you can enlist the aid of others. For example, do you have children living at home who can help? Are there family members or friends living nearby who could give you assistance?

  • Make your needs known. For example, talk to your employer if his demands are unreasonable. That does not mean you have to give him an ultimatum. Simply make him aware of what you are up against. He may be willing to adjust your load.

  • Keep track of the number of demands you face in a week. Can any of them be delegated to others?

  • Be selective about accepting social invitations. If you cannot attend because of a lack of time or energy, kindly say no.

Bottom Line: If you try to do everything, you may render yourself unable to do anything.