We have all heard it- I mean I know have- A LOT: “high achievers succeed because they prioritize their commitments & stay focused.”
This was HARD. No, not hard- painful, for me to really understand.
I am a YES MAN. For 7 years I said YES. And it worked for me. Until it didn’t.
Yes, about a year ago ( I have been blogging 8 years now ), I realized I was burnt out.
Things that I used to LOVE started to feel heavy. I was fatigued. Even irritable. This isn’t my natural personality. But I sat with this heaviness for about a year until I realized it wasn’t working for me. And the reason it wasn’t working for me is because I was saying YES. Yes to everything. YES to dinner parties 3 nights in a row. YES to every single interview. YES to appearances & speeches. YES to business opportunities. YES to acquaintances that I literally had not talked to since kindergarten ( I kid you not, someone reached out for a favor from Mrs. Kent’s kindergarten class- I can’t make this shit up ). YES to every ask, every appointment, everything. YES to every DM, every e-mail, every Slack, every Snapchat message. YES, YES, YES until I was blue in the face, running myself ragged.
Well you know what happened: I cracked.
Like literally. I’m not the biggest crier so it was more like a completely irrational breakdown that most likely was taken out on Michael. One that was not pretty. Think like Madame Medusa in The Rescuers when she looses her mind on her assistant, Snoops ( you’re not a true Disney fan if you don’t know what I’m talking about ). Anyway- ya I lost it.
I think back & try to pinpoint WHY I lost it. I feel like it was because the more I said YES, the more people took advantage of my time.
WAIT- that’s not really me being accountable, now is it?
More like I was allowing them to take advantage of time.
Ok so meltdown went down.
And then something changed.
I started to meditate every morning.
I started to read more.
I started to say YES to things that made me happy.
I started to say NO to things that made me unhappy.
REALLY I crowded out my true NO’s with real YES’s.
…I KNOW RIGHT, IT’S THAT EASY! Sometimes we all make shit harder than it has to be, ya know?
It’s kind of like when you’re losing weight: instead of taking away from your plate you start to simply ADD on healthy foods to crowd the bad foods out ( more fiber, greens, fruits, water to crowd out sugar ! saturated fats ! white carbs ! ).
Ok let’s get into why you should say NO, especially when you’re saying YES too often.
Turning down certain opportunities may be your best bet. Trust me, there’s many pros of saying no. I know first hand. For one, you’re able to concentrate on what matters- the good stuff. Like PRIORITIES. Those things you really should get to on the scroll of your to-do list. Maybe even things like spending quality time with your significant other. Oh, I don’t know- maybe even spending the whole day reading. When I was little I loved to sit on the couch & read for hours. For a while I was “too busy to spend the day reading.” Probably because I was quite literally saying yes to everything & anything. Now the more I say NO, the more time opens up for me to just read. It’s that simple.
No one in the world has time to fulfill every request- it’s not possible.
Tim Ferriss found that during the writing of his latest book, Tribe of Mentors, that most highly successful people say no to 90% of the things that are asked of them. He said they physically don’t have time to take advantage of every opportunity. He also states it’s very possible to be respectful when saying no. Some of his tips: personal acknowledgment (this one is important), speak on how you’re doing too much, talk about your priorities ( writing a book maybe or focusing in on family ), &/or creating a blanket policy for not taking on new meetings or calls.
Point is: if you’re compromising your OWN needs at the expense of everyone else’s, I would recommend elevating your time. Really audit yourself.
Say no to the 90% to focus in on the 10%. The 10% is usually where the magic happens.
Thoughts, comments, experiences? Would love to hear. NO REALLY! I would- or I clearly wouldn’t ask ; ).
Hope you’re all having a very FOCUSED Monday.
Get ready for another podcast episode ( there’s TWO this week ) tonight at midnight, x lauryn
+ READ: how to time batch.