What are you committed to?

I’ve had this conditional love for my blackberry ever since I got it in November. When it’s working well I love it.  I had some problems syncing with my outlook calendar initially, which was frustrating.  Yet, even in the midst of my frustration, I gleaned some valuable insights regarding time commitments that I thought was worth sharing with you. 

One of the solutions offered by blackberry tech support was that I put an end date on my recurring calendar options.  I had all my regular time blocked business activities, workouts, re-occurring social activities, and birthdays on a “no end date” re-occurrence.  This caused some sort of computer sync malfunction with blackberry.   When I put an end date on them, it resolved the problem.  It was an interesting exercise going through all my activities and determining how long I would commit to them in the future.  For my current networking groups I committed to five years.  For business activities and business contact birthdays I committed to ten years.  For my workout routine, 20 years.  And for lifelong friends and family member birthdays, I committed 40 years.  I realize I can change these commitments at any time, but for now I’ve noted the intended duration of my commitment in my calendar. 

Have you ever looked at your existing relationships, personal or professional, and put an end date on them?  It has you really evaluate how and with whom you spend your time.  You essentially ask yourself, “am I going to know this person in a year, or five, or ten, or forty years?”  

It was also interesting what events and contacts I deleted from my calendar.  Groups I no longer attend, and birthdays of people with whom I’m no longer in contact were promptly deleted from the calendar.  These items could have been deleted long ago, but I thought “what’s the harm of keeping them in the calendar?”  In actuality, this passiveness did cause harm, because my blackberry didn’t function properly.  It made me wonder how many other things I tolerate rather than eliminate, when they have run their course and should be deleted from my schedule, thought patterns, behaviors.        

My sister happened to call when I was in the midst of this exercise and she was happy to hear that I planned on celebrating her family’s birthdays and her wedding anniversary for another 40 years.   She mentioned she couldn’t plan too far ahead at the moment, because she was in the process of coordinating her work schedule not knowing if her youngest is going to be in Kindergarten next fall for a full day or half day, due to impending budget cuts by school districts. 

Whether we’re doing long term or short term planning, our commitments are always reflected in how we spend our time as well as our money.  What changes have you made when it comes to spending your time and money, in light of our current economy?  Do you make long term plans, or are you taking life day by day?  What long term commitments remain in your life at this time?  I’ve always been a planner, both long and short-term.   As time evolves, I’ve learned to adjust the plan with more grace than in earlier days.  Do you welcome or dread an unexpected change in plans?  Do you feel that your current schedule accurately reflects your priorities?

Your comments and perspective are always welcomed.

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Lori T. Williams is an attorney based in Birmingham, MI, licensed in 1989.  As owner of a legal referral business called Your Legal Resource, PLLC, Lori personally assists individuals and small businesses in need of legal advice or representation in Metro Detroit by connecting them with the right legal specialist to meet their needs. Click here for a pdf of legal referral services. 

Through group training and events, Lori also focuses on referral marketing strategies for attorneys and other professionals. For more information about Lori or Your Legal Resource, visit www.bestlegalresource.com.  For networking events, training programs, and workshop information, visit: www.bestlegalresource.com/events.


3 responses to “What are you committed to?”

  1. Mike K McClure

    Good stuff, Lori. Haven’t tried syncing my Blackberry yet, but that’s good info to know when I do. As far as planning, I do have long and short term goals, but I suspect I don’t put them in as concrete form as you do. They’re more in my head and part of my guiding principles for how I approach my time management. Sure I have a to do list on my desk and a list of upcoming deadlines. But planning for them and my longer term goals, like creating a thriving social media practice for my firm, aren’t on a hard and fast list or my calendar. It would be interesting to do your how much time exercise with the open ended events in my Outlook though. Good thoughts to ponder. Thanks.

  2. Jamei Favreau

    Sometimes it hurts to clean out the toxic people from our lives. But when your realize this it is one step forward to moving forward. I have been going through this myself and I am sometimes NOT completely committed to doing so even though I know it must be done.

    Great advice.

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