Last year I started the process of taking a step back from many of my extracurricular activities — I stepped down from board positions and away from volunteer committees, I stopped doing pro-bono work, I (mostly) stopped attending professional lunches and dinners, and I paused some of my projects. Basically, I started to reduce the activities that were cluttering my schedule and making me lose focus. The intent was that it would free up space and attention for the things that were truly important.
It hasn’t quite worked out that way.
I did free up a lot of time, but somehow it’s been taken up with unscheduled, unexpected and (quite frankly) unwanted items. Family situations that cannot be avoided (and for which I’m very glad I had the time to be away); lots and lots and lots of overwork that’s threatening to leave me burned out of every iota of creative energy; and many other things that just weren’t planned.
Halfway through the year I find myself baffled by my complete deviation from this year’s plan. Did the new distractions pop up because the old ones were eliminated? or would they have popped up anyways?
One of the things I’ve seen is a massive decrease in a blogging schedule I was finally happy with, and which was getting me the results I wanted. I’ve had to decline on speaking engagements and opt not to pursue projects and opportunities I had planned for this year.
I’m hoping that some of this is going to start correcting soon. And for that to happen I have to stop saying “I’m too busy,” and start saying “I choose to do this.”
And, I think I need to start seeing people in real life again.
How’s your mid-year review going?