One of the fundamental tenents of work/life balance, work/life integration, or any other name one might choose to describe the relationship between time applied on professional and personal matters is simple: conscious decisions on what to do and what to forego are mandatory, because no one can do everything. My husband has a photo in his office that I truly hate, but it’s apt here. It’s a picture of a trout with its mouth gaping open and a line beneath it that says, “Only dead fish go with the flow.” It’s a recipe for disaster to “go with the flow” and assume that your work and your life will come to an equilibrium that suits you. Careful choices are necessary, if painful.
This morning, I’m making such a choice. It doesn’t rival choosing between attending a child’s annual recital and speaking at a prestigious CLE meeting, but it’s painful to me just the same. I am declaring blog-reading bankruptcy.
Lawrence Lessig prompted this idea, by declaring email bankruptcy when he discovered that he was so far behind on emails he’d never catch up. (Email bankruptcy Lessig-style is described in this Wired article that also has some handy productivity tips.)
I have so many unread blog feeds that I will never get through them — unless I choose to ignore what’s current, which would be a no-win “solution.” I’ve tried to catch up. I find so much value in the blogs I read that it’s hard to make the decision to clear the backlog, and yet, that’s the only rational choice at this point. So, with apologies to the bloggers who work so hard to produce such excellent content, I declare blog-reading bankruptcy. I start fresh today.
Where do you need to declare “bankruptcy”? Perhaps in old industry newsletters or magazines, bar magazines that are interesting but not informative on your area of law, or newspapers/magazines? Perhaps personal email correspondence? Consider what “stack of stuff” is tugging at you from a corner of your desk or office or home. Can you eliminate any of it, through “bankruptcy” or concerted action?