Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Learning to Say No

More and more I am learning the importance of saying no. 

There's only so much of you, so you must learn to give wisely. If you say yes to every good opportunity, you may feel needed, maybe even indispensable, but in the end there will be nothing left, no margin, no place simply to be yourself.

If you are to do anything, you must leave time for it. Whether it's knitting, volunteering in the community, exercising, cooking, hiking, or anything else, it can't be done if you don't leave time for it. Perhaps this seems too obvious to say, but in my experience it is a commonly overlooked truth. 

I use the word leave instead of make intentionally. We often say we need to make time for this or that activity. We say things like, "if you want to do something badly enough, you'll make time for it." But the truth is you can fret, rush, and stress all you want, but none of us can make time. It can't be done. Not an hour. Not even a minute.

The best we can do is prioritize and leave time for the important things. Maybe I can find places where I'm wasting time doing something unimportant. Maybe I need to reorganize my day, or be more aware of time gobbling distractions. But to leave time for one thing, we must say no to something else. This is not being selfish or stingy. It's reality. 

Do you have something you've been wanting to do but never have the time? Maybe you need to stop doing a few other things. For myself, I have decided it is better to do one thing well than five things poorly.

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