You Say No Every Time You Say Yes
Clients will often proclaim to me “I just can’t say no”. If that’s true for you then here’s what I tell them to dispel this unhealthy belief. “Every time you say ‘yes’ to something you are saying ‘no’ to something else”.
Learning not to say yes to everything that comes across your desk is one of the keys to overcoming procrastination. For many years I would write lists of what “needed” to be done and then be overwhelmed by the size of the list.
We all have 168 hours in every week, no one gets any more ore any less. The reason we need to learn to say “No” is so we can leave enough time to say “Yes” to the truly important things. I call them my ‘non-negotiables’.
How we feel about ourselves has a major impact on what, and who, we believe we can say no to. Being comfortable in your own skin allows you the clarity to see what is really important, and what is just being done to please others. Knowing what is important is the first step….what are your ‘High Lifetime Value’ activities?
High Lifetime Value activities are those that have a lasting effect on you, the people most important to you and the greater good. For me, spending time with my kids has a higher lifetime value than staying back at the office well into the night to get a deadline met. Having a healthy balance between work and the rest of your life is a major contributor to winning the fight against procrastination.
Let’s do an exercise together right now…
Take out a piece of paper, and assuming you have just been told you only have 6 months to live, write out a narrative of how you would spend that time. Who would you spend it with? What would you get done that would leave the legacy you wanted to be remembered for?
Secondly, write out a “Things to stop doing” list. This list is of time wasters that fuel your procrastination, stealing your time from your High Lifetime Value activities. Comfort activities, indulged to excess, like social networking, watching TV, cleaning your desk, surfing the internet etc….
How much clearer are you seeing things after the exercise? What empowering feelings are you experiencing? For me, I am ready to take on my day….saying no to procrastination!
Have an extraordinarily productive day, doing what is most important….you deserve it!