One of the guys who moderate my FireWall-1 Gurus Mailing List wrote these couple of paragraphs in a private mail exchange. I felt the advice given herein was good enough to share with the rest of the class:
I have been through some rough times and have learned the hard way (enough to risk my job) that it is better to make a clear decision and do what ever you choose to do to do well and let others do the rest. Trying to commit yourself to something which you can not find the time for is not good for those who think they can count on you and not good for yourself either.
Ever since I have been more clearer on this, I feel better about myself and others do feel better about me as well because they can rely on me without second guessing. But I have to admit this was not an easy fight. Me being my toughest opponent to overcome.
What I am finding interesting is that the various advice I am starting to read lately involves the simple, yet very difficult task of being honest with yourself and being honest with yourself regularly. The techniques at 43 Folders for bringing your inbox down to zero, for instance, are all about being honest with yourself when looking at email. Are you going to act on it? Is there some action that this email represents? Well get it done and get that inbox empty! While my inbox isn't exactly zero--it does get there sometimes--but it is definitely a lot more manageable now that I ensure that I manage it daily and keep the message count down into the single digits. While it hasn't made me completely ecstatic, it has made my life seem a little less hectic.
Being honest with myself is tough, as this post I wrote about moving the FireWall-1 content on my site to cpug.org shows. It took me a long time to make the realization that post represents. Of course, some people lie to themselves for a lifetime.
There are plenty of areas in my life where I need to be a bit more honest with myself, I will admit. However, at least I am seeing the need to do it, which is a step up from before. :)