My canvas for prioritizing and organizing my resources.

In 2007, I finally knew what I’d wanted to do for a living. It was the school’s newspaper that led me to become a journalist – no matter what.

During my apprenticeship, I started an online magazine called Negative White, covering alternative music and culture. That was almost a decade ago. It was a hobby back then but evolved to voluntary work over the last couple of years. The team grew, additional products and services were added. It was a hell of a ride. Negative White was my playground, a lab for experiments. The experience gained is invaluable.

However, I’ve achieved my initial goal to work full-time in journalism. And it gets harder to find energy and time getting stuff done for Negative White. That puts me in a quagmire: As a leader, I failed to hand over control. I became too big to fail, which was also crucial for the project’s success or descent. Maybe that’s the most important lesson I learned.

Now, I’ve to face tough decisions: Do I keep on struggling or do I quit? Are there any means to reduce the workload of about one to two hours per day by delegating tasks or stopping certain services? I don’t have the answers yet.

Being at your best

Ultimately, I’m convinced that we can only be at our best when we focus on a few things. You simply cannot commit yourself to ten jobs as good as to two. Admitting your limits is hard, especially if it involves a passion project like Negative White. It is a painful process that will pay off eventually in furthering the personal perspective.

Even if I decide to stop the project by the end of the year, it won’t be a failure after all. It was never meant to be as big as it is now, nor a lifelong engagement. It just grew organically.

Three key metrics

Nevertheless, I’m in a completely different place now than ten years ago, facing a new wave of having to prioritize and organize my resources. I have a small canvas of doing precisely that, but it requires total honesty.

Everything I do needs to check two of these three boxes:

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About tough decisions, priorities, and admitting limits