This is the first article in the Editing Life series.
We all have multiple demands on our time. Some of these we choose, and some are thrust upon us. Some of them we choose; some we are asked to do, and some creep up on us through insidious means.
When I am feeling overloaded, I start the editing process by looking at my commitments. I make a list of all the things I have said yes to, evaluating whether my ability to deliver against the expectations placed on that commitments.
Please note that removing commitments is seldom permanent. Just because I have let something go now does not mean I can’t do it in the future.
Editing Commitments: Activities
I start the list with volunteer activities that involve other people:
- Girl Scout leader
- Quartet member
- Church musician
- Religious education committee member
A few years ago I had many more commitments and jettisoned them all. (It sounds extreme, but it was very freeing). This time I am going to let go of being a church musician. In my current phase, I play for my own enjoyment and I no longer wish to do the long hours of prep and rehearsal.
Next I look at my solo activities. These are things that I do that are independent, but still reach other people.
Interestingly enough, I realized that Facebook belonged in this category. Just by having an account and “friending” people, there is an expectation that I will check the site and respond.
- Simple Productivity Blog
- Home blogs
On this list, there are three things affected. Intent.com is a site that does not give returns in proportion to the effort required; and in fact I have been flamed for opinions expressed there. That is going away altogether. Facebook I use to keep in contact with some people, but my feeds are overpopulated with Farmville and “I just ate at the best restaurant ever” posts. This needs some selected editing as I weed out the feeds from people who just create static.
Next up, the blogs. I love writing for SPB, so that will stay. But the two home blogs…one is read by my friends, and the family blog, supposed to be used for family news and photos, is never read. I need to rethink my commitment to that one.
Now that I have decided what needs to go, I need to wrap up the loose ends. While just ignoring Intent would be an option, it still weighs on me every time I get an email, so I need to close that one down entirely.
No time like the present. I went out and took care of those within 5 minutes.
Do you edit your commitments? Share below.
Photo by Rat Phlegm
Articles In the Series: