Just Say No!
To gain control of your time, and therefore your life, you must focus on what is important and what can truly make a difference in the larger scheme. In fact, as valuable as time is — and considering the time wasted in an average person’s life — it is almost incomprehensible that we give time away with so little thought.
Yet that is reality and that is life. We are still human, after all, and what is important to one person may be totally unimportant to another.
Put it to the Test
I have a simple litmus test for where I spend my life. I regularly ask myself, “Does this activity add to my life experience, or does it add to my relationship(s)?” Of course, the opposite is true, too: “Does it take away from my life or from my relationship(s)?”
One of the most valuable skills you can learn, when coming to the realization of where your time is going, is the ability to say no to things that, even though they temporarily make you feel good, simply waste your time and life.
Saying NO makes more room in your life to say YES to those things that truly add value to your life. Remember, this is your life that you are living. You only get one shot at it. How do you want to live it?
Do you want to control what you can, or give the control away to others? Do you value your time and therefore your life? Are you making the right decisions by using your time to add to life, or allowing it to be taken away? It’s your choice.
An example of this is when you’re guilted into committing to something that you’re not passionate about doing. Perhaps you’re experienced in accounting, and friends ask if you can do their taxes for them.
While you might want to say yes for the sake of your friendship, if taking on this project takes time away from your wife and kids — which has been on your not urgent but important list — it might end up taking away more from your life than adding to it.
Remember, just because someone asks for something doesn’t mean you have to say yes. Give each request thoughtful consideration, and then make a decision that most benefits your long-term goals. If nurturing your marriage is most important, that takes precedence. Knowing your real priorities can help you make the best decision for when to say yes or no.
As Peter Drucker once stated so well, “People are effective because they say ‘no,’ because they say, ‘this isn’t for me.”
To live the best life possible, learn to say no to the not important and not urgent. Keep and use the time for what’s important to you, rather than give it away. When you create more time to do what you want and need, the benefits you will be rewarded with are invaluable!
Adapted from Uncommon Sense @ www.billabbate.com