Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thursday’s Time Tip –Sometimes you need to say no.

Priority lists, calendars, multitasking, timers, routines. The lists go on, and the ideas are many. Lots and lots of advice on how to be more productive, get more done, do more with less time.

People trying to get so much done with all their new gadgets and tools available to them, everyone trying to squeeze out just a little more productivity. I know I do. I have a lot of demands on my time and there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to get everything done that I want to do.

My dad once said that I was trying to get 10 lbs of potatoes in a five pound bag.
There is a very simple solution to all of this. Say no.

Yep, that’s it. Sometimes you just have to say no to some things. I took a project to my secretary one day; I asked her if she could get it done for me. She asked me what project I didn’t want her to do. She laid out all the things we had going on and where she was on each of them. Was this project I was bringing to her more important than what she had on her plate?

No. It wasn’t. So I didn’t give it to her. But she taught me a lesson. Keep track of what is important. You cannot do it all. Sometimes you have to stop and take stock of what is going on and sometimes something that is good, and you would love to do it has to be turned down. It isn’t always easy, but to salvage your sanity, you need to learn to say no once in a while.


Unknown said...


That's deep.

I'm one of those people that has a really hard time telling people I can't do something/meet them somewhere/etc. In fact, I just had a huge relief today when I discovered I didn't personally know one of my Nanowrimo MLs... which meant I wasn't as obligated to attend the meetings she hosted. There's a lot of beautiful freedom that comes with that.

Dean C. Rich said...

This is a tough one to do. I have problems myself, so I wrote this more for me than anyone else. However you can not do it all. No matter how much you would like to. So choose your battles wisely.

Joyce Alton / @joycealton said...

Thanks, Dean. I needed this one. It seems as I finish one project two or three more angle to take its place. I hate saying "no" because I love helping people. It's when the headaches, stress, and unfufilled priorities hit that I want to whack myself upside the head and develop a more selfish streak. (Note: It probably won't happen. I may have to do a complete internet and social retreat for a week or two if it gets too bad. lol)

Dean C. Rich said...

It is tough! So much to do, and wanting to help makes it hard. You just have to set limits. When you reach the max you may just have to say, pick a number. I'll get back with you later.