19 JanOvercomitting Myself

Previously I mentioned my penchant for having too many hobbies and not enough time or money to enjoy them. That habit really doesn’t stop with just the fun side of life as I find myself often overcommitted in work and things I volunteer to do. I am sure I am not the only one with this problem, so perhaps I can find a little comfort in sharing my self-inflicted pains here.

What is it with me really? It’s not like I have nothing to do each day and I am trying to fill my time. I have a family of 4 kids, need I say more? Yet, with plenty of normal obligations to deal with, I find myself taking on new projects practically whenever asked. Even worse, even when I know I just can’t give any more time to a project, I hang on and just don’t let it go. I am sure there has to be some psychobabble named condition that gives a title to this.

I recently returned from a very fun trip to Las Vegas taking some photos at a series of concerts. Photography is my favorite of the hobbies, and it works out that often I can get paying jobs or some fabulous trade arrangements to go along with it. This is what I would consider a good use of my time, so I pursue most any opportunity I can find when it comes to photo work. When I make enough money with it, I then just getting a new lens or other new equipment.

As I have stated in several other posts, I am an entrepreneur at heart, and much of my career has been spent performing various project-based jobs to earn my living. Because of this, I continue to take on projects here and there to earn some extra money, mainly to fuel my expensive hobbies of course but also to do some little extras around the house. This year we would really like to put a deck on the back of our house, and let me tell you the materials for that are not cheap. So, with this goal in mind, I have rationalized taking on a couple of projects to earn some money.

Now my evenings are full of things to get done and deadlines loom. I never learn. I do think I thrive on being busy though, so maybe this is a good thing. What would I do with my life if I wasn’t busy? Probably spend more time on my hobbies, so better to keep me working! I just try to keep a decent balance in life; hopefully, I do ok at it. My wife is too kind to indulge me, but she is great that way. Very lucky for me.

As my kids get older, though, my available time is quickly slipping away. We have already experienced some of the “summers of fun” times where we have kids needing to be at different sporting events at the same time, piano practice conflicting with cub scouts and things like that. It is only going to get worse. I either need to stay up later or accept fewer projects…there goes my beauty sleep! I’m sure I’ll figure something out.

This is dangerous to admit publicly, so no one out there takes advantage of me for having revealed my weakness. Wave some money in front of me, and generally, I’ll come ready to work. I’m getting better these days though. I don’t know if I can attribute it to a stronger will or not enough motivation to stay up all night getting that extra work done. Back in the early days of my career, I would get on a project and sleep would become a burden until the project was done. Now sleep generally wins and deadlines can shift. Man, I’m getting old darn it!

Of course, it isn’t always about money either. I volunteer and accept too many projects for church all the time. Because of my technical abilities, I find myself creating DVDs for our youth groups and showing up for any project I am asked. How can you not do these things though when asked? It’s tough saying no.

I’ll continue doing this all my life, I already know I will. I guess I just need to continue finding better ways to manage my time and survive on less sleep. Of course, I find myself able to accomplish much more when I turn off the boob tube. It’s amazing how much time is wasted when you grab that remote and subject yourself to a few hours of brain-turned-off time. I did a little of that last night, and now I am kicking myself at having wasted the time and gained nothing.

I really don’t know how to wrap up this particular post other than to say I guess admitting I have a problem is the first step in solving it, right? Yeah, it’s a problem…now back to work on that next project deadline!