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Charity, Time, and Commitments: Being Honest With Your Limitations

If you were to take a brief glance at my current projects, off the top of my head, you’d see any of the following:

  • Ongoing copy project for client (on retainer)
  • Copy project for new client
  • Marketing my copywriting to get new clients
  • Bookkeeping for my business
  • Write on a regular basis, mainly for this site
  • Consider other writing avenues and options
  • Ghostwriting a book
  • Writing and staying involved with my writing group
  • Contributing to writing group’s first book
  • Studying copywriting to improve my skills
  • Taking online courses in writing and business
  • Lately, taking care of my sick cat
  • Addressing a fraud claim on a purchase that a customer of mine made

That’s all I can think of at the moment – and these are things that I deal with at least weekly, if not daily. For those who think working from home means sitting on your duff in your pajamas and doing what you want, I refer you to the above list.

All of these commitments are also in addition to my responsibilities around the house, and to my wife, and trying to find some free time to work on my hobbies, like playing guitar and reading books, for my own sanity.

In recent weeks, I’ve really struggled with these commitments. I have my work days booked through Google Calendar, blocked out by the hour, to keep me on task.

But falling behind happens to all of us (especially when we have sick cats in the house that do unspeakable things in my office that need my urgent attention). And I’ve found that, when I fall behind, the rest of my day goes to crap.

I’ve tried different things to keep me on task, with little success. So finally, I am making some tough choices:

That big announcement? I’m not doing it anymore…

…at least not right now.

I was planning on spending this summer raising money for charity:water, a cause I really believe in and was moved by at the World Domination Summit last year. I spoke with some friends of mine who had raised money successfully in the past year, and was really trying to find the best way to go about it.

But one thing leads to another, and I wasn’t giving this project the priority it needed and deserved in my time. So, after much prayerful consideration, I am putting it on the back burner for now.

I do passionately want to take on this challenge, but I don’t think this is the right time for me. And if my heart isn’t in it, it does nobody any good. I will be considering it later this year or next year, depending on how things go. But I want to find the right time to do it.

I’m cutting back my responsibilities to 3 things per day

This means, at most, I will work on 15 things a week. That sounds doable to me.

The fear in doing this is that I won’t be able to touch base with all the things I want to do. But the reality is, I only have so much time in the day. I have a home life that comes with responsibilities, and I have a wife that I want/need to spend time with.

By stretching myself too thin, nothing was getting done, and it has been a very big problem of mine. If I want to take my business and my work to the next level, I need to pop in some real, honest, dedicated time to it. Otherwise, my time will be useless.

“Never half-ass anything. Whole-ass one thing.”

Wise words from my main man, Ron Swanson.

Because I’d taken on so much stuff, I grew increasingly hard on myself. I was mad. I was frustrated. I never ended the day with any sort of feeling of accomplishment. It was always failure or coming up short.

Plus, my efforts were often rushed, which left little to be desired in a lot of areas. I still have work to do on developing my discipline, but for now, limiting my responsibilities will, hopefully, keep me on task, keep me focused, and ultimately, make me work better.

What do you think? Do you ever struggle with this? Have you tried cutting back, or do you think it’s not a possibility in your life?

charity, commitment, goals, responsibilities, stress, time