What to keep, what to release

I have been listening to podcasts. Lots of podcasts. They are yet another of my COVID-19 coping strategies. This week, I listened to Episode 198 of the Business of Fashion podcast – a conversation between BOF founder Imran Amed and activist Sinead Burke

What struck a chord with me is the framework that Burke uses when making decisions about what projects to take on, and what projects to pass on. When Burke considers a new task, she asks herself the following four questions:

  1. Is this part of my list of goals and objectives that I have always wanted to achieve? 
  2. Does this pay the rent? 
  3. Does this give back? 
  4. Does this bring other people with me? 

“Everything that I do has to answer yes to more than one of these questions” says Burke. These questions are her compass and help guide her decisions. 

I have found these times conducive to questioning everything, including scrutinizing the various projects and commitments I have said yes to in the past. Did I say yes for good reason? Did I say yes because saying yes is easier than saying no? When asked to take one something, I (try to) systematically ask myself if this said project is worth doing. 99% of the time, the answer is yes. That one question is hardly a framework…  

What is the right framework for me to use to make decisions about what and whom I give my time to? What is my compass? I need to work on this. In the meantime, I might just use Burke’s framework. I am sure she wouldn’t mind… 


2 thoughts on “What to keep, what to release

  1. One additional perspective: when one’s life has been filled with so much conflict and uncertainty (60+ yrs), one coping mechanism is the illusory peace of “keeping options open” which is pretty much in direct contrast with focusing and deciding. In my particular case, there has been ONE thing I’ve wanted for 18.5 years – and I feel like I’ve been through “hell and high water” in pursuit…but drifting and wandering in between “fire,” “flood,” and distraction. Thankfully, I am persistent, driven and extremely fortunate for the opportunity to make MY decision now. With laser-like focus on my “dream”/goal, I’m ready to run through walls and meet challenges head-on with eyes wide open. I hope others experience your blog in the same uplifting manner as did I. The message is so appreciated!

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