Edit Your Commitments


81768549454048549_T6UcyAB0_fLife gets pretty interesting with all the responsibilities and commitments I have.  I am always spinning a lot of plates, so to speak, and this time of year it is important that I stay on top of everything.

When commitments pile up, I know it is time to get everything down on paper.  Then it’s time to do some editing.

I highly recommend you try this out, too.

Edit commitments in your life.

Take an inventory of the commitments in your life and write them down. Here are some common ones:

  • Work – don’t only write your job; write down all the commitments you have at the job.
  • Side hustles – I have a ton of side hustles. More commitments.
  • Family – our roles as family members obviously come with many commitments.
  • Kids – I have two kids.  Homework, baseball, dance, piano. Each of their commitments is mine and my wife’s, too.
  • Civic – you might be a board member or officer on a non-profit organization, or a community volunteer.
  • Religious – some of us are very involved with, or are part of a religious organization. Or perhaps we are committed to going to service once a week.
  • Hobbies – perhaps you are a runner or a cyclist, or you collect things, or you have a rock band that plays gigs on weekends.
  • Home – we all have chores and jobs that come with home ownership.
  • Online – you may be part of a Google group, and online forum, or…you may write a blog!  All more commitments.

I am sure you have other categories. List everything.

I am at a point in my life where the time I spend on my commitments must give my life value.  Take a close look at your list and consider if that is the case. Ask yourself: How important is each commitment to me? How would it affect my life if I dropped out? Is it in line with my life goals?

At least one thing must be crossed off.  It is always hard to completely cut something out of our life that has been a commitment.  I know it is tough, but if you cut one thing out, at least for a couple weeks, you may find that you happily get along without it.  Making a pledge to not take on any new commitments is also just as powerful.

I always feel a bit guilty when I cut out a commitment, because others probably wanted me to keep it. The feeling of relief, however, is more powerful than the guilt most of the time.  If we committed to what everyone else wanted all the time, we would never have any time left for ourselves.

Subtract so you can add. Sometimes in life we need to subtract people, events, and things so that we can make room for someone or thing (a job, a new hobby, etc) to enter our lives which has the potential to enhance it to the extreme. And even though we may not know what it is, we must begin to trust what our life is telling us.

Take the time to write and edit your commitments, and your life will be greatly simplified. Try it!


  1. I never thought to make a list like this but I probably should. I do agree that they should hold some sort of value in your life otherwise why are we committing to them in the first place.
    Canadian Budget Binder recently posted…Mr.CBB’s Spinach and Ricotta FettuccineMy Profile

    • CBB, You are totally right. My problem has always been that I find it hard to say “no” to anything. It all looks good on paper and in the datebook, but doesn’t work out too well in reality! Have a great weekend!

  2. I really, really need to do this. I feel several of my commitments will impact others or disappoint someone if I give them up, but there are only so many hours in my day. My most hated thing to do is housework, especially ironing, but until all the debts are gone, I’ll be doing that myself. Maybe someday I’ll get that maid.
    Kim@Eyesonthedollar recently posted…Eyes on the Dollar 20/20 Roundup #24-Oh No, You Didn’tMy Profile

  3. I am going to do this tonight… I have never thought about it quite like a list before, but I think it is time to re-prioritise!
    Savvy Scot recently posted…Passive Income Series – Method 2: Income from InvestingMy Profile

  4. I have so many side hustles on the go at the moment and I am struggling to keep up with it all now that I have a new bub. Hopefully I can get back on track soon.
    Glen @ Monster Piggy Bank recently posted…Giving Gifts on a BudgetMy Profile

  5. Tony: Great post and something to definitely to get busy on. This is especially true for us older guys who really need to use our time wisely. As I get older this is a true priority and a difficult balancing act.
    STEVEN J. FROMM, ATTORNEY, LL.M. (TAXATION) recently posted…Estate Planning 2013: Now What? A Must Read For EveryoneMy Profile

  6. That’s a great idea to list them all out. I’m not sure that I want to though. I know that the list would be incredibly long and almost all self-imposed. I like the idea of only adding a new commitment after I have crossed another off the list.
    Hank recently posted…Do We Really Care About Texting While Driving? How To Implement Real Social Change!My Profile

    • Hank, it is always tough to list anything and see it on paper. But remember, the list exists whether we wrote it or not, so may as well dump our brain on paper!

  7. I did an inventory of my commitments right around the New Year. I honestly got slammed the last two months from my commitments, and I’m happy to be dropping one of them (some side contract work) this month. I’m going to focus on my career, house, wife, friends/family, and this blog. I’m all about stopping and re-evaluating your commitments and priorities!
    DC @ Young Adult Money recently posted…$100 Giveaway – Valentine’s Day Gift EditionMy Profile

  8. I could have benefited from this post a couple months ago. When starting out my blog I had all sorts of cool ideas, I wanted to write an ebook, consult, and do a handful of other things. It became so overwhelming that I didn’t get anything done. It took a long time before I had to start taking things off of my plate which was very hard because I felt like a failure. There are still a number of things I want to implement but I now understand that I need to focus on accomplishing one thing at a time. Great post!

    • Thanks for the comment Marvin! I agree: focusing on a few things a time is much more productive. Have a great weekend!

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