Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Yes You Can - Say No!

If you have been following along with the last couple posts I hope this finds you with a little less on your plate and a lot more breathing room in your schedule. Shedding those unnecessary tasks and unwanted commitments is a great feeling. Sort of like shedding an extra 10 pounds. Your mind is clear, there is a bounce in your step, you are full of energy and ready to embrace the day. It feels so good!

But just like dieters can yo-yo and put back on the weight you can yo-yo with your time management habits as well. So how do you keep that breathing room in your schedule? How do you keep your plate from overflowing again? The answer lies in a small two letter word - NO! What thoughts are going through you mind as your read that sentence? Here are a few you might identify with:

~I can't say No - what will people think of me
~I can't say No - it's my family, boss, religious group
~I can't say No - I love to do __________
~I can't say No - How much time could it take? I can get this done easily between __________ and _________

There are probably many other reasons or fears that you could come up with as explanations for why you can't say no. But let me challenge you to look for the reasons you should say Yes. Is there ample benefit to you for saying Yes? What questions should you ask yourself (and perhaps your spouse or business partner) to determine whether the commitment you are being asked to make is worth saying Yes too.

As a Life Coach my goal is to inspire you to discover the strength and courage you have within yourself to live your best life. And to empower you with tools that will help you live that life now - not next week or next year. So what questions should you ask to determine whether you should say Yes or No to a commitment that is being proposed.

1. Does the proposed commitment meet my needs?
Now many may say at first glance well that sounds selfish. But I beg to differ. We all have needs and when those needs go unmet life doesn't run smoothly, we lack joy, and we rarely reach our full potential. For instance in my email box today I received an invitation to go dancing with our youth leadership team this Saturday. In reviewing this question to that invitation I can say Yes it meets my needs in four ways - the need to exercise, the need to have fun, the need to bond with other youth leaders that I serve with, the need to have time with my husband. So for this question the answer is Yes, yes, yes, yes.

2. Does the proposed commitment support my values? Everyone's values are different but two of mine are friendship and marriage. I value very much those relationships in my life. In addition in a different angle it also supports my value to serve because this particular get together will be getting to know better the team that I serve with on a weekly basis. So the answer to this question is also yes.

3. Does the proposed commitment further my priorities? Yes again. My marriage is a priority and so is my health. This commitment is the best type because it supports multiple priorities and I get to have fun while I'm doing it. This is the appropriate use of multi-tasking.

4. Do I have enough time and energy to commit 100% to the proposed activity? In my example since this is a one time event so I can say Yes. If this were an invitation to take a dance class as a group over 6 consecutive Saturday nights then my answer might well change from Yes to No.

Take a minute and put those four questions on an index card. Tuck them in your planner or by your computer if you schedule your appointments on line. Now next time you are asked to take on something new, see if you can give the proposed commitment 4 yeses. If not then remember: Yes You Can - Say NO!


Anonymous said...

Saying no isn't easy, but with these questions we can make sure our yes means yes!