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learned over time to say no to the things that I don't want to do in life in
order to be able to say yes to the things that I do want to do.
there's a bit of a Catch 22 here. I'm still overwhelmed at times. What's
that saying? "Too much of a good thing..." You can be doing only
things you love to do and still get stressed out. If you are racing from one
fantastic event or experience to another with no down time or pause in
between, you are setting yourself up for a fall. I know what happens to me
if I take on too much. My body rebels and I get sick. (And illness presents
one of the toughest time management challenges of all - during and after. So
I want to avoid it.)
challenge now is learning to say no again - only now it is learning to say
no to opportunity. I need to learn how to say no to things I DO want to do,
but that would make my life crazy if I do them right now.
learning new tricks and tools. I use my calendar as a tool to alert me to
possible overload. When I have a big event like a convention keynote speech
or a magazine article deadline, I circle it in red in my calendar. My rule
is to save at least one day on each side of those events for prep time and
thing that helps me is weekly planning. This allows me to see the big
picture of what I have to do. Often I'll notice that some appointment I made
long ago no longer makes sense or is feasible. In the past I would have kept
that appointment sacred and just dealt with a crazy schedule - or possibly
neglected something even more important. Now, I've learned to call and see
if I can reschedule or even cancel. What fascinates me is that almost every
time I've had to do that, the other person has thanked me because their
schedule too had gotten crazy since we initially made our plans.
importantly, I have ways to make my decision. The first step is to get clear
on your overall dream and see if the opportunity is on track to get you to
that end result.
keep an index card in my calendar book. On it I listed the
things/activities/people that are important to me - that are my priorities
in life. Before I say yes to something big, I check through that list to see
if the request fits in. On the other side of the card I have specific
questions for when I'm asked to speak to a group. These again are based on
my priorities. I want to make conscious choices in what I take on - based on
my values not based on the fee involved.
I'm asked to do something I really want to do, but I can tell it would make
my life too hectic if I take it on, I ask a few other questions to help me
Will this opportunity ever come again if I don't do it now?
Is there a possibility of shifting it to a better time? (Sometimes all it
takes is asking the question.)
Are there other things I could shift or give up to allow space for this?
And, if no shifting is possible, do I want to do it badly enough that I'm
willing to accept a time period of overload and craziness in order to do it?
(Sometimes I do, but I want to be conscious that that is what I'm choosing
to do. And it stops me from complaining and whining if I make a conscious
decisions are not easy, obvious decisions. That's when being really clear on
your priorities comes into play. And remember, pause and downtime, rest and
recuperation, should be right up there with your other top priorities.
Hightower's Jump Into Life! Workshops and Writings help you pump up your
energy, creativity & joy at work and in life. Contact her at
253-761-8161; [email protected]
, or www.jumpintolife.net
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