Monday Motivator: Subtract One Thing

For the past five years, I’ve served as a performance funding report reader. Each August, I received 3 CDs with colleges’ QEP updates andgraded them with three other folks from other colleges. After turning in last year’s report, I resigned from the team. I felt that I was no longer able to approach the task with the enthusiasm needed.

Last month, I received another email asking me to reconsider. The team still needed my service, I was told. And I was tempted. After all, who doesn’t like to be told they’re needed? And it was only one month out of the year.

So I considered the request against a resolution I made earlier in the year. 

I suppose as you get older, you can’t help but think that there are things that need to get done and there is not unlimited time to accomplish them. It’s time to ensure that the things you do make a difference both to yourself and to your world (no matter how small your world might be).

I have had a habit of taking on activities for usually good reasons: to earn tenure, to make a contribution, etc. But I’ve also learned that I sometimes sign up for things to keep busy, to not have time to worry about some of the other things I’d like to accomplish in life. I mean how can I work on my writing if I’m involved in ten committees that require so much active participation.

So I made a decision to only take on things that are meaningful to me, that make me happy, or that are required for my job. I also decided to analyze those things that I now do to see if I truly have interest or I agreed for other reasons.

So I emailed my final no, and the world didn’t end. In fact, by the end of the next day, my boss had identified two people who could easily take my place on that team. I had freed up some time for more important endeavors.

The excuses for not doing my writing are becoming fewer. Yikes!

Your assignment for this week: Subtract one thing out of your schedule that you no longer enjoy doing or that no longer holds relevance.

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