So I started a list. Instances of saying no.
When I say no (e.g., conference talk invites, “pick my brain” invitations, jury solicitations), I immediately add my regret to the No List. I nurture this growing list of no-things, adding category data like dates events would have happened, themes, and date turned down.
Suddenly, I’m making list of cities not seen, airplanes not embarked, and time saved, rather than time taken away. Several months later, I have a made a substantial something. It’s how I’ve marked time.
There are many instances where deadlines are crucial, where getting things done needs to get done. Sometimes saying yes is just the thing that must happen. But just as importantly, most times it is not.
Stop reading a book halfway through, keep a list of your turn-downs, and celebrate the fringe benefits of no.
I’ll be right there with you.
When we say no, it doesn’t have to be because we are too busy. It can also be because we are intentional and purposeful about what we do with our time and energy.
You can do anything, but not everything.
See also: Saying no to everything elseLoading Likes...