People are always asking me how I manage to stay on task. In the “about us” section of my blog, you see that we are extremely busy. In “On the Weekends We Plan,” you will see how I schedule and plan my days. However, the most important thing that I have learned in managing my time is when to say no!
Saying no can be very difficult if you are naturally a people pleaser or if you just enjoy helping others. But in life I have learned that in order to say yes to the important things you must say no to some things. There are three simple questions I ask myself when making the decision to say yes or no.
1) Does it align with my life mission?
I have shared my life mission with my followers several times.
“Through love and compassion, lead others to grow into their maximum potential and fulfill their purpose”
Having a life mission has helped me identify my purpose in life. Once I was able to figure out my life purpose, I knew that every single thing I did would need to be in alignment with this. So when people ask me to do things, I go back to my mission statement and see if it is alignment with my mission statement. With my mission statement is applies to all areas of my life because while I am leading others to their maximum potential and life purpose, I am also leading myself to live my best life. This means that I cannot be everything for everyone and I cannot say yes to every request.
This does not mean that I am all work and no play. I am a firm believer of having fun. If a friend invites me to a party, I need to know the type of party it is. I am all about having fun but I am not trying to be in an environment where people are twerking on the floor, getting sloppy drunk or high off cocaine. But I am not against a classic cocktail, preferably old fashions or manhattans. I love to listen to music and occasional I like to shake a tail feather or two.
If you have read any of my previous posts, they are all about life balance and when I learned to say no, I always learned that I have to work hard and play hard. So I do not skip vacations, I go out on dates, I have fun but I make decisions about what types of fun that I will engage in because I am building a life where I can motivate the masses, as Lisa Nichols says. And I want to motivate them to do great things!
2) Will you be neglecting someone or something if you say yes?
Your time is valuable and the more you remember that the better you will become at saying no to the things that will cause you to start doing mediocre work or neglecting your loved ones. Every opportunity that presents itself to you is not for you. You must remember that your no’s are there to preserve your yeses. For me, I learned that when I start to feel overwhelmed because my calendar is too full and my loved ones are feeling like I am too busy for them and my performance at work is slacking, then I am saying yes too much.
I am a mother, first and foremost. When my daughter was in kindergarten, she completed a Mother’s Day assignment. All the kids answered questions about what their mothers loved to do while cleaning, cooking, driving, etc. So as I arrived at school and I reading the responses, “My mom loves to sing while she is driving,” “My mom loves to watch television while she cooks,” and “My mom listens to music while she cleans.” So cute, right? Then I made it to my daughter’s paper, she was so proud to show me. Her responses were, “My mom talks to clients while she drives” and “My mom returns emails while she cooks.” At that point, I knew I was saying yes to too much. I was letting my work consume me and I was not being the best Mommy I can be. So I had to learn to say no to some things in order to say yes to being the best mommy I could be.
When it comes to work, my full-time job, my personal business, as well as blogging, I want to make sure I am doing my best work. I do not want my child, my friends, my loved ones, my clients, my parents, nor my subscribers to feel like they are not being given the time that they need so I must say no to some things.
This is how I find life balance between all things and people that I love.
3) Do you even want to do it?
This one is simple. Sometimes we say yes to things just because we want to make others happy and it is not even something that we want to do. I am not saying that you will never have to do something you don’t want to do to get to where you want to be. I am saying that if you would rather sit and home and read a book than go out, then do it. I am a strong believer in self-care.
No matter how much you want to help others, you cannot forget about self.
There are days when I love getting all dressed up and being around lots of people and laughing and enjoying life, but then there are days I want to relax at home with my hair in a messy bun, reading and writing while drinking a glass of wine in complete silence. When you have that feeling of being unsure you most likely need to say no to the request. Do you!
I want each and every one of you to be the best you that you can be, so remember that your no is just as important as your yes!