Simplify Your Life By Saying No
by Myrtis Smith
The average person lives a very cluttered life. We have too much "stuff" in our homes, too many commitments on our calendars, and our kids are involved in too many activities. All of this clutter is weighing us down. Things need to be organized and cleaned, planned and prepped for; its no mystery why people are so stressed.
Even scarier is the fact that we continue to add more. We buy more things that we don't have room to store, we volunteer for more committees, and we let junior find another sport to play.
The ideal solution to this predicament would be to advise you to spend some time clearing space in your life. Take a weekend and declutter your house. Reduce all of your involvement to the 3 things that support your goals the most. And limit your children to 2 activities each. Somehow, I think that advice would fall on deaf ears. Instead I entreat you to simplify your life by refusing to take on any more activities. The word No can be very empowering.
There are 3 ways to say No:
1. No. This is the simplest method. Whenever someone asks you to do something nicely say No. No explanations are needed. No is a complete sentence. This also includes saying No to yourself when you're out shopping and looking to start new projects. You must be consistent.
2. Let me get back with you. This method allows you to put some distance between yourself and the requestor. Often we say Yes to a request because we feel pressure. By offering to get back with the individual at later time, you create some breathing room that makes it easier for you to say No. As a tip, if someone is pressing you for an immediate answer, then it is in your best interest to say No on the spot. If the situation is urgent enough that it requires an immediate answer you may want to avoid getting involved.
3. No, but I can do something else. This option is excellent if you really want to help an individual but you know your time is limited. For example, someone asks you "Can you bring homemade cookies to the picnic on Saturday?" You answer: "No, but I can stop by the bakery and pick up some cookies." See the difference?
© Copyright 2002 All Rights Reserved Myrtis Smith is a career coach and the founder of Premeditated Life. At Premeditated Life, we have one focus: Your Career. We offer services to support your career goals, whether you are in transition, need help with your job search or want to improve your professional skills.
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