Welcome to the first of my mini-series on how to ease that overwhelmed feeling!
One of the first ways to reduce the amount on our plates, is to stop adding to our plates.
That requires us to <gulp> say no to some of the “opportunities” that come our way.
When my daughter was in high school, I was a coach on the FIRST Robotics Team. I enjoyed it, so after she graduated, I stayed with the team for another two years.
Then I caught the entrepreneurial bug and started my own business, so I gave up coaching the robotics team. I had to say no when they asked if I was going to continue into the next season.
It was hard. I had genuinely enjoyed it. But something had to go if I was going to add running a business to my plate.
And you know what made it easier?
Having a bigger YES inside of me.
The entrepreneur Derek Sivers coined the popular phrase, “If it’s not a HELL YEAH!, it’s a no.”
That’s a little extreme for me; after all, I never say “HELL YEAH! Let’s file our taxes today!”
But you get the idea.
When your boss asks you to work on the Christmas party committee despite the November deadline on your biggest project.
When super-helpful Mrs. Jones asks you to bring in two dozen cupcakes to little Johnny’s class and you have a Little League double header the night before.
Everyone knows that everyone is busy, but no one knows what’s on your plate already when they ask you to add something to it.
You can say no.
Practice with me.
Take a deep breath.
Let out your breath in a whoosh.
Realize that “No” is a complete sentence.
You don’t have to add any reason or excuse after it if you don’t want to.
Most of us want to.
“You know I would love to bring in cupcakes, but I have a Little League double header the night before.”
Do you realize what that does?
It opens you up to negotiation.
“Oh, that’s OK. Why don’t you bring them in Friday instead?”
Crap. You really didn’t want to bake cupcakes EVER, yet now your excuse is mitigated.
Don’t get into the excuse game.
Take a deep breath, and say “I’m sorry, I can’t bring in cupcakes.”
AND STOP TALKING.
Everyone knows that everyone is busy and you’ve just set a boundary.
Let that boundary stand.
What are you going to say “no” to this week?
Leaving you with this from the lighter side: I’ve just been diagnosed with NCD. No Can Do