Last fall, my friend and colleague Ann Kroeker wrote a series of blog posts and podcasts that she called the “Write in the Middle” series. In each segment, she offered tips and ideas for how to write in the middle of things like motherhoodholidaystraveling, and even chaos. The ideas were simple; in one case she suggested lowering expectations about how much we can do when extraordinary circumstances demand our attention. In another post, she offered some thoughts about blocking out distraction.

In the past eight weeks, my life has unfolded a little differently than I expected after my husband’s knee injury, surgery, and recovery on December 30. I’ve taken on more responsibility around the house and set aside my work time to drive to appointments and help with physical therapy. In the process, a lot of things have gone undone.

But guess what? When I look at my to-do list for the past several weeks and glance at all the items with the X next to them, I see that a lot of things have gotten done, too. I’ve written nine personal blog posts, and three lengthy essays requiring a lot of research for magazines. I written a couple dozen articles for clients; completed another client’s quarterly newsletter; and encouraged several writers through emails, online coaching, and workshops. Plus, I redesigned my own website and contracted with a part-time virtual assistant. And this is just a partial list.

Whatever you have going on today, chances are you’d like to accomplish more than you actually will. If you’re like me, you’ll have more items on the to-do list than hours in the day. But rather than feeling discouraged, instead, look at all you have accomplished and then start again tomorrow knowing you’re actually doing more than you think you are.