No-vember – Say No to Say Yes
To celebrate No-vember, I said no to the newsletter and yes to a week off the content treadmill. Please enjoy our first guest post by the one and only, Wendy Papasan.
“What you don’t do determines what you can do.”– Tim Ferriss
What Brings You Joy?
Many of our readers have shared they are maxed out, tired, stressed, and find their calendars filled with a never-ending list of community, social, family, and client obligations. Because we want to grow our businesses or make people happy, we say yes.
As busy entrepreneurs, we have to make tough choices on a daily basis. The clock always seems to run out before it can all be done. If you feel pressed for time and out of whack with your priorities, try this simple exercise.
You’ll need about 15 minutes, some paper, and a pen. Find a quiet spot for reflection.
Clear your mind and think about the past few months. What were the bright spots–both personally and professionally? Where were the moments of happiness? What brought you joy? If it helps, pull out your phone and look at your photos. Notice your emotions. What memories made you smile?
Now, make a list of all the happy moments. Maybe it was taking a walk with a friend or driving your kids to their soccer game. Maybe a meeting with a client who needed your help or just coming home after a long day to cuddle with your pet. Keep writing. You may end up with a list of 20 or more items.
After you’ve finished reflecting, take another minute and circle the top things that bring you joy consistently. Pull out your calendar and ask, “Are my joy priorities on my calendar?” Some of you feel too maxed out to make time for happiness. Self-care looks different than you think it does. Self-care is acknowledging and prioritizing these small moments of joy. You can take these “Joy Priorities” and start making time for them on your calendar. If you just don’t see time, circle back after the next step.
Next, take 15 minutes and ask yourself another question. “What do I need to say no to, so that I can say yes to what matters most?” Create this list while asking the following questions. What can someone else do better than me? What are things that aren’t giving me a return? How can I buy back my time by getting help? Congrats, you now have a “Not-To-Do List.” Beginning with the item that steals the most of your time, start declining and delegating.
A friend shared that her mom did this exercise and decided to spend one afternoon a week with her granddaughter. Another colleague did this exercise and realized how much she despised updating her database. She immediately hired someone to help her.
When you say yes to something you aren’t good at or is a waste of your time, you may be saying no to something more important. Time is the only thing we all have in common and how we spend it is more valuable than money.
One question to ponder in your thinking time: What can I say no to today so I can say yes to something that brings me joy?
Make an Impact!
Wendy Papasan for Jay Papasan