I recently heard David Allen’s commentary on Twitter. He’s an experimental user and has some good thoughts on its utility. One thing he said particularly stood out to me as a nice heuristic when determining the bounds of my commitments to others and myself:
Am I going to too many cocktail parties this week? Or should I be going to more cocktail parties this week given what I’m doing?
The answer to those two questions, especially the second one, helps one discern whether or not to even go to cocktail parties…period. If you can’t answer “yes, I should be going to more cocktail parties…but for reasons X and Y, I can’t,” it’s time to reevaluate why you’re even going.
Each time a potential commitment arises, ask “what am I doing in life right now?” If it has changed since the last time you took on such a commitment, reconsider whether or not you should take it on again. If you shouldn’t, don’t.