In a recent article, I wrote about ‘52 Places you can say ‘No’ in your business to make room for the Yesses you want.’ Today, I’d like to take that a little further.
I’m sure it’s occurred to you that when you open your mouth to say ‘Yes’ to something, you’re allowing that thing to take up time in your life. The more things you say yes to, the less time you have, and the more justified you can feel about not having enough.
On the other hand, I wonder if it’s occurred to you that when you accept the mission to say some strategic ‘Nos,’ you’re adding time back into your life?
The more ‘Nos’ you say, the more time you claim back.
This is the reason why, when we get one item on our to-do list done, we often don’t feel any lasting relief. We worked on the task, we put in the time, and the item is crossed off. But there is always another item to do, and unless we do something different, we’re going to spend time on each of them. Time we don’t have enough of.
To begin solving this at the source of the problem, ask:
What items on my to do list (or my quarterly goals, or annual plan) can I remove entirely, saying ‘no’ to doing it, and spend next to no time on it, other than the time it takes to say no?
Removing items from a list entirely, without doing them, brings with it a completely different feeling than getting them done by pushing – it’s a feeling of real emancipation from the goal of your own making. Good news is, you have the key.
The rush of relief and sensation of having enough or even plenty of time in your business gets stronger, the more smart ‘nos’ you say and the more practiced you get at it. You may start out feeling tentative, delinking saying ‘yes’ to success. Yes is a wonderful word that is easy to love, but loving it too much is a problem.
Your Yesses are Precious, Say Them With Genuine Care
I want to give you more time in your day, an hour a day, starting today, and the way to do it is to say the right ‘Nos.’
Go back to the list of 52 places you can consider saying No now, and start making room for the best yesses.
· Yes, I want to feel like I have ample time for what’s most important to me.
· Yes, I want to deliver a high quality outcome in my business.
· Yes, I want to make a long-lasting impact on my part of the world through my ideas and efforts.
· Yes, I want my business to thrive and take up its proper place in my business.
· Insert yours here.
As soon as you start doing this, you will find much more than an hour each day can return to your time bank account in the form of less worry, fewer indecision points, lost productivity due to lack of sleep, and even a lot less conflict – challenging conversations that go wrong, causing messes that require lengthy cleanup and mediation.
The only question that will remain is – what will you choose to do with your newfound time?
Time Exists so Everything Doesn’t Happen at Once
If this exercise of saying no, and adding time back to your day seems difficult, it’s because it is. We receive little guidance on saying ‘no’ to the right things in our businesses and a whole lot of seductive pressure to overwhelm ourselves with ‘yesses.’ It will take some detoxing to become a person who stands against the prevailing winds.
To help, you can think of the ‘Nos’ you say to new ideas as ‘Not Right Nows.’ You may say yes to it again. Just not right now. Like training wheels, ‘not right now’ is an acceptable bridge to saying the more emphatic ‘no.’
Slow Down to Move Fast
I’m turning 45 on June 2, the same day ‘We Need to Talk: Your Guide to Challenging Business Conversations’ comes out in Kindle, Audiobook and paperbook on Amazon. The past 15 years, I’ve learned a lot about my propensity to overextend myself and crack the whip of overachievement.
Along with the help of emboldened clients who have proven the truth of today’s article, year after year, I can offer you this for your journey.
I am much better as an entrepreneur, an activist, a spouse, friend and overall human being when I feel that I have plenty of time. I bet you will too.
And yes, you can count on your business to follow suit. It can, after all, only become as good as you who are its leader.
‘We Need to Talk’ is available NOW at www.WeNeedtoTalkGuide.com. In the time you save applying today’s article, I hope you’ll use some of it to read it and implement, one smart yes at a time.