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The Simple Manifesto #2 – Evaluate your commitments


This is part of our series on The Simple Living Manifesto. We invite you to join us on the journey.

The second item in The Simple Living Manifesto is:

Evaluate your commitments. Look at everything you’ve got going on in your life. Everything, from work to home to civic to kids’ activities to hobbies to side businesses to other projects. Think about which of these really gives you value, which ones you love doing. Which of these are in line with the 4-5 most important things you listed above? Drop those that aren’t in line with those things.

Leo Babauta expounds on this a bit more on his site.

As a recap, these are the things I shared Monday that mattered most to me:

  1. My faith
  2. My wife (aka My Life) & my family
  3. Building community on and offline
  4. Caring for the under-resourced
  5. Creating

Here’s a list of my current commitments (from what I can remember)…

  1. Gathering with my tribe each Sunday morning (2 hrs a week)
  2. Organizing the MediaShout schedule for my tribe (15 min a month)
  3. Running MediaShout once every three weeks on Sunday morning (4-5 hrs a month)
  4. Helping with setup and tear-down every three weeks on Sunday morning (2-3 hrs a month
  5. Editing and publishing the weekly podcast for my tribe (30 min-1 hr a week)
  6. Overseeing the community groups within our tribe – includes weekly e-mails, checking in with leaders and such (1 hr a week)
  7. Planning training and discussion meetings with our community group leaders at least once every other month (2-4 hrs a month)
  8. Publishing our tribe’s weekly e-zine (30 minutes a week)
  9. Planning the weekly meals for my family (30 minutes a week)
  10. Preparing dinner each week night — and sometimes on the weekend (15 min – 1 hr every day)
  11. Freelance web/media work for various clients (1-2 hrs a week at most)
  12. Blogging each weekday on my personal blog (2 hrs a week)
  13. Writing at least three blog posts a week here at (2 hrs a week)
  14. Writing, editing and publishing the monthly Insurgency of Love newsletter (1-2 hrs a month)
  15. Writing, editing and publishing the monthly We Live Simply newsletter (1-2 hrs a month)
  16. Recording interviews for our weekly podcast (at least once a month if not 3-4 times a month) (3-4 hours a month)
  17. Editing and publishing our weekly podcast (1-2 hrs a week)
  18. Planning and leading our weekly men’s What-a-Study (1-2 hrs a week)
  19. Organizing and planning meals for our weekly community group gatherings (15 min a week)
  20. Planning and leading our weekly community group gatherings (3 hrs a week)
  21. Yard work (1-2 hrs a week – Spring – Fall)
  22. Finding and scheduling quality time with Laurie (as our schedules permit – I would like 1-2 hrs a day)
  23. Organizing, planning and participating in our monthly Laundry Love effort (2-3 hrs a month)
  24. Helping with household chores — primarily cleaning the bathrooms, laundry and dishes (1-2 hrs a week)
  25. Building online relationships and friendships via Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc. (1 hr a day)
  26. Responding to various e-mails, Tweets, Facebook messages (1 hr a day)
  27. Regular Monday-Friday job (9-10 hrs a day including commute)
  28. Green Team at work (1-2 hrs a month)
  29. DWAT team at work (3-4 hrs every other month)
  30. Tech team for Conference Day (2 full days once a year)
  31. Other daily “as assigned” duties at work

Those are the commitments I can currently think of. Although my wife might be able to name off some others.

From what I can see, the majority of the commitments I have are related to my primary goals, either directly or like my blogging and freelance work, in an effort to help fund some of them.

I think these would be the easiest things to cut back on for sure but in reality, I would love for these to one day take the place of my regular Monday-Friday job — giving me much more freedom and time to focus on all my goals. That may never happen but it’s a means towards a goal I’m loosely shooting for.

I’ve been trying to cut back on items 2-4 lately. Up until a couple months back I was arriving several hours early and one of the last to leave each week as I came every week to help with setup and tear-down (we meet in a rented facility each Sunday so all our audio/video/tech equipment is brought in on a trailer and setup each week).

I’d also love to get rid of #5 and #8 as well but no one’s expressed interest in helping out or taking this duty over yet. And neither are something I’m ready to completely abandon as they both seem to be a big benefit to others.

I’m also lucky that so far, none of my duties from my Monday-Friday job have spilled over into my free time. Only on rare occasions are there events or duties that go beyond my scheduled working hours. And with my position, the extra commitments I’ve taken on during work hours don’t typically hinder my normal duties.

So I’m open to suggestions as to what else I can cut back on or kill completely. Let me know in the comments below if you have any ideas.

Join us!

Write a blog post about the point from the Simple Living Manifesto above and then share the link in the comments below…

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