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Too Much of the Good Things

I am on a time kick lately 🙂  Really, for me, applying minimalism to my time is much harder than my house.  That is why I write about it… I write about the things I stress about, over think about, try to figure out…instead of the things that I have figured out (because if I stuck to that list I wouldn’t have much to write)

You know those books and planners that talk about managing your time?  They make it sound like when you write out how you are spending all your time you realize how many hours are wasted (my book goes here a bit too).  I don’t know about you, but I would love to find 4 or 5 hours spent on TV or 3 hours on Facebook that I could have an ‘ah-ha’ moment with and cut out.  Imagine what I could do with another chunk of time like that!  If you can find time this easy good for you, but if you are like me you have don’t have enough time in the day because you have too many good things you are trying to put into it.

Things like:

  • Saving the earth
  • Raising the next generation
  • Growing and learning
  • Networking
  • Planning for the future (building a business, investing, etc)
  • Dreaming
  • Establishing world peace
  • Caring for the orphans and widows
  • Curing cancer
  • Making a difference… solving all the rest of earths problems
  • Keeping a orderly home
  • Having fun

The world has both opportunities and great need that all account for many ‘good’ things to be involved with.  There is easily more good and worthwhile things to be involved with than there is ever time to do them.  

How do I/we figure out which ‘good’ things are the ‘best’?  How much can really fit into our schedule?

I spent a good part of the last week stressing about this.  Both my husband and I take on projects very easily.  It isn’t that we are against follow-through or finishing, it is just that it is easier to start.  As we start more than we can get finished the amount of responsibilities and projects we are working gets bigger and bigger.

Does this happen to you?

So anyways, I got involved with another business idea last week and spent a bunch of time researching and thinking on it.     It truly sounded like a good idea and I believe it would have turned out profitable.  It just didn’t feel right.  Here are some of the questions that I came up with to help me figure it out and my answers.

  1. Is this something I want to do (if money, or recognition wasn’t an object)? No
  2. How much time will I need to properly devote to this and where will that time come from? 10 hours a week, from my writing, reading and time with kids in the evening.
  3. Will this be a new challenge and help me grow in new ways? Maybe
  4. Does this have continuing benefit after I put initial time in or do I need to keep putting the same amount of time for the same amount of benefit? Yes
  5. (From Seth Godin’s writing) Can I be the best in the world at it? No
  6. Does it fit my personal brand?  Personality and how I am trying to make a difference in the world? No

After way to much over thinking, wasted time, and loss of sleep I let it go.  It is hard to let go things that are ‘good’ but are not ‘best’.  Especially when ‘best’ is such a personal thing.  Best isn’t about the most money or the most success it is defined by so much more…but that more is very personal to all of us.   Money is a piece that can’t be ignored, we can’t live without it, but we can’t live for it either.

What do you think?  How do you decide the best way to spend your energies and time?  Do you have anything that could add to this list?

Photo Credit: Bryon Lippincott

6 Comments

  1. Wow. Great discipline on your part. Sometimes, more than the things we do, it’s the things we don’t do that help define us. The way you went about making your decision is how Steve Jobs made Apple so successful. He was ruthless in stripping out features that didn’t materially enhance the product, or worse, took away effort from perfecting the best aspects of the product.

    It’s kinda like how parents that raise well-behaved kids never seem to get credit for it. But if your children ever go astray, you can be sure that you’ll hear about it from judgmental parents. The satisfaction doesn’t come from praise by other parents. Rather, it comes from the knowledge that your well-behaved kids make parenting more fun and enjoyable.

    So while you might be sacrificing some extra money by passing up on your venture, you’ll also be able to better appreciate the things you actually love doing. Bravo.

    • thanks so much 🙂 ‘it’s the things we don’t do that help define us’ I love!

  2. I struggle with this. I’m forever starting things, or at least researching them, while neglecting what I already have going and should, perhaps, give more of my time to. It’s hard for me to feel like I’m missing out on something, so I try everything.

    I really like the questions you utilized. I need to create something like that. I also might have to play around with focusing in different places. Thanks for sharing your reflections on this dilemma.

    • yeah, we are pretty similar 🙂 I use the excuse that ‘the world needs starters’, because it does. So few people are willing to start things. However, starting without finishing or following through isn’t worth it …. so I feel like I lead a busy life that doesn’t accomplish anything 🙂

  3. Ironically, you are struggling with more time concerns BECAUSE you are writing a website (no matter that it is on minimalism, and sometimes about managing your time). I had the best balance before I began my website. I did not belong to any social media sites. I had days where I had no e-mails in my inbox. I had less opportunities (less decisions) coming my way. Less “no thanks” e-mails to write. But, they are all trade-offs for what I’m doing and enjoying right now. And, yes. That’s the key I guess. Choosing the trade-offs wisely and with a sense of satisfaction that you have made the right choice. -heather

    • so many good things and not enough time 🙂 I am still struggling with balance on my site but I love how it is helping me grow, both with writing and keeping me accountable. …now, social media.. that is harder, I still have mixed feelings on it and haven’t figured it out very well 🙂

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