What Are You Saying No To?

Are there things that you just don’t seem to have time to do? Maybe it’s no time to read, exercise, call your mom, make healthy meals or time for your own self-care. Maybe you never seem to get to bed at a decent hour because you stay up so late trying to catch up and now you feel sleep deprived. If so, I challenge you to evaluate what is it that you are finding time to do? Everything we say yes to means we’re saying no to something else. Are there time wasters you need to eliminate so you can say yes where you want to say yes?

The first step is to sit down and really think about what’s important to you and then write it down. Not what you have been doing, not what your family thinks you should do, but what’s important to you. The next step is to do your best at figuring out how much time each of those things are going to take. Be reasonable now so you don’t put too much on your plate. For example, maybe you decide you need eight hours of sleep each night, thirty minutes of exercise four days per week and two hours of time for yourself once a week.

What next? Now you need to look at how you are really spending your time. Look at your calendar and see what you’ve had on it for the last month. Is it filled with volunteer activities, meetings and social events? What about the activities that aren’t on your calendar? Are you filling your downtime pinning to your boards on  Pinterest, staring at the TV or shuttling your kids all over town? I’m sure there are some tasks that you just can’t avoid and some that you really want to participate in. But, if everything you have on your plate is pushing what you do want off of your plate, it’s time to evaluate what should stay and what should go. It’s in your control and you can get creative with your schedule. You could watch your favorite show on Netflix while you walk on the treadmill. Maybe you can trade car pooling duties with another parent. Perhaps you can chat on the phone to stay in touch with family while you walk around a track. And, it’s okay to remove activities that are no longer serving you. Just because you volunteered for something doesn’t mean you’re married to it, it’s okay to move on.

I challenge you to find a way to make time instead of saying you don’t have enough time. You can do it!

 Courtesy of my Efficient Organization column in the Lake Stevens Ledger.

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