Productivity Series #1 – How to Take Control of Your Life by Saying No
Are you feeling overwhelmed with the amount of items on your to-do list? Do you feel like the important stuff in your life isn’t getting done?
Maybe it feels like life keeps getting in your way and you are not making progress. Or you just want to achieve more each day.
If this sounds like you, then I suggest you continue reading.
This is my first post in my “save 10 hours a week” productivity series. I am going to show you over the next 10 weeks, what you can do to make more time in your life for the things that matter most.
So let us get started.
Time is the most valuable thing you have so you need to invest it wisely
How many times have you said “yes” to an event only to regret it when the day arrives? There are plenty of social gatherings, work meetings and projects I have regretted saying yes to. Why should you waste valuable time with regrets?
We are naturally programmed to please people. Most of us have a deep down need to be liked. This is where our “yes” mentality comes into play. How do you know what you should say NO to? And how do you say it without feeling bad?
I have a simple process that I use every day, called the TIRE process.
- (T)ime – Listen to the request for your time. What is the request specifically? A social event, help with a project, etc?
- (I)mportant – Take time with your decision. Does it fit in with what’s important to you? I won’t ever give someone an answer straight away anymore. I will go away, think about it properly and then let them know.
- (R)espect – Understand that this is important to the person asking, so respect their request. Make sure you respect their time, make your decision quickly and let them know why. If you don’t give the person a reason why, they will make up their own reasons why you said no. What they imagine is normally much worse than your actual reason.
- (E)nd – A question that I use sometimes if I am struggling to decide is, “if I only had one month to live, would I be considering this?” I know this sounds extreme but we only have one life. Why shouldn’t you do what’s important to you?
Every time you say yes to something, you must justify it with a hundred no’s
Don’t let saying ‘yes’ tire you out! Remember when you say “yes” to something, you are saying “no” to everything else. If your goal is to become more productive at work, so you can finish on time and spend more time with your kids. And you say yes to a few drinks after work, then you have said “no” to your kids.
Have a go at the following activity.
How many false commitments have you made?
- Look at your last typical day, take yesterday for example.
- Write down what you did every single hour, from the minute you woke to the minute you slept.
- Estimate how long you spent doing each activity.
- How many of these activities were important to you?
- How many of these activities should you have said “No” to?
What false commitments are you going to say no to in the future?
I would love to hear how you get on in the comments section of this post.
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