Who do you find it easiest to say no to?

One of my favourite experts on goal-setting, Gary Ryan Blair, said this: “success in life requires a short “Yes” list, and a long “No” list”.

I tend to agree with him.

Whenever I coach time management clients or get interviewed on time management tips, one of the first things I tell people is this:

The absolute quickest way to get results with your time is to learn which things to say yes to and which to say no to.

The no list should always be longer.

There are far more demands on our time than we can ever even hope to satisfy. From requests for time commitments to outside stimuli like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, phone and text messages, the list goes on and on.

Remember, you always say no to at least one thing when you say yes to something else.

For example…
• if you say yes to volunteering on 3 committees, you’re saying no to one or all of the following: your family, your self-care, your exercise time, your household… one committee is possibly enough.
• if you say yes to that beautiful new pair of shoes you really can’t afford, you’re saying no to your debt-reduction plan and maybe to some more clutter!

No is a small word but is often so hard for some of us to say.

The good news is that saying no is like going to the gym and building some muscle.

It feels very uncomfortable at first but the more you work at it, the easier it becomes.

The first couple of times you’ll probably cringe inside as you hear yourself saying no, wondering if your family, friends and colleagues will still like you.

Once you get a bit more practice, you start to get more comfortable and very soon, you’ll develop an ease and grace about it.

Why should you say no?

1. it helps you set firm boundaries
2. it helps you honour your values
3. it makes you more productive
4. it reduces your stress
5. it frees you to serve where you’re called to with joy

I’m challenging you to slow down and think carefully before you say yes to anything.

In fact, why don’t you start saying, “let me get back to you on that” so you think clearly about the situation before committing yourself.

And when you say no to things that don’t support your goals, you’re free to say yes to all the things that really do matter to you.

Tell me. Do you have more problems saying no to yourself or to other people?

PS if you need some coaching to help you improve your “no” muscle, this is one of my areas of expertise and I’m happy to work with you. Send me an email and let’s set up your session.

How I say no without feeling guilty

I’m about 80% done reading a book called Essentialism by Greg McKeown. If you play around on the internet a lot, you’ll have seen a lot of people talk positively about this book.

I’m glad I’m reading it because it turns out I’ve been an Essentialist all along 🙂

I say yes to the things that matter, and no to the things that don’t.

I do make mistakes, especially when I’m caught in the moment but I realise I should only be saying yes when I genuinely want to do something (hello – word of the year JOY), I feel excitement at the thought of doing it or it ties in with my life goals or definition of success.

Here are 7 things that help me to say no, mostly without guilt:

Stop

1. I don’t have to have another appointment first in order to say no
If I’ve planned to have an evening in (reading, blogging, whatever…) and I get invited out, this does not automatically mean I have to accept. An appointment with myself is just as important as one with other people.

2. Realise that when I say yes to one thing, I’m always saying no to something else
When I do say yes without thinking, I usually say no to the more important parts of my life – God, family, yourself.

An example is saying yes to everybody at work collecting money for birthdays, leaving presents, etc, and no to your own financial future 🙂

3. I don’t instinctively say yes. I try to think about it first.
I usually offer to send out an invite so I can check my diary/ bullet journal first before committing to plans.  The three-month calendar also helps. A practical suggestion is to take a deep breath first before saying yes or no. Otherwise you end up saying yes to everything and at the end of a hectic period, you’re virtually burnt out.

4. It becomes easier to say yes the more you practise
At first when you have to say no to something or someone, it feels terrible. But it is incredibly empowering when you realise that you made the correct decision in saying no. It is an acquired skill and the more you use your “no” muscle, the stronger it’ll get. I promise.

IMG_9065-1

5. When I say yes and feel resentment/ frustration/ anger, it usually means I should have said no
Learn to listen to your heart. I’m learning more about this every single day. The Bible says that we mustn’t give grudgingly or under compulsion, and yet, so many of us do. We say yes, and then harbour deep feelings of resentment and bitterness. Nothing good comes from a resentful attitude.

6. I realise that there are many ways to say no
No may be “I can’t help you this time”, “I can only do it next month”, “that’s not my strong suit” or simply “no, thanks”.

No is a complete sentence – Anne Lamott

7. Recognise your personal physical symptoms of an incorrect yes

Over the past year I’ve noticed that when I say yes to too many things that are wrong for me, I get terrible headaches and feel physically ill (nauseated). I’m starting to recognise those things quicker so that I can stop them in their tracks 🙂

Make a decision for the next month to look over your schedule and see where you’re saying yes to activities or commitments that don’t support your goals. Then, work at saying no to them so you can say yes to more important things.

Do you find it easy to say no?

Why or why not?

Do you know how your tendency ties into it? I think of all the types, Obligers have the hardest time saying no but feel free to correct me.

{Ask the organiser} Procrastination, saying no and overcommitment

Well, I haven’t done one of these Ask the Organiser posts for a while.

Ask the organiser |www.OrganisingQueen.com

Since I’m retired I find that my needs have changed. I would like to see how to keep organized and stay on task and not waste time simply because I feel I can always do it tomorrow. How do I keep from procrastinating?

I have gotten myself too involved because I thought I could do more since I am retired but that’s not true. Believing you have more time can become a handicap for a retired person. You start to take on too many things and then try to figure out how to get out of some of them so that you can do the things you always plan on doing once you retire. It’s very easy to get caught up in clubs or other activities that you really should have said no to.

Many end up taking more of your time then you thought it would. How do I manage this and get out of things without feeling that I’m letting people down who depend on me?

Lois

Procrastination | www.OrganisingQueen.com

There are two issues here that I think Lois wants me to address:

  1. Procrastinating when you think you have lots of time.

I have a few ideas for Lois:

Think about your ideal day. What does that look like?

Which 3 things might you want to include in your daily rhythm? Maybe that’s something in the home/ garden, something out/ with people/ family, something health & fitness, something fun/ relaxing for you, etc. Decide on those 3 categories.

Make a short list of a couple of projects for each of your 3 categories using the Master List (it’s in the Time management purpose pack) or a plain old notebook and pen, and choose one from each to do every day.

If you finish the day and find you’re making progress in each area, you’ll feel accomplished AND relaxed.

Once you start moving towards your goals a little bit every day, it’ll be easier not to procrastinate as you’re motivated going towards something meaningful.

(Lois, email me and I’ll send you a form you can use for your daily categories)

Procrastination | www.OrganisingQueen.com

2. Overcommitment and saying no

Back to question 1. In your weekly rhythm, what % of your week or month could you comfortably do things like clubs, activities, volunteer work, etc? Maybe one morning a week? Or a morning every second week?

Decide what that comfortable time frequency feels like for you.

Keep that number in mind when you consider what your current commitments are.

Maybe you’ve committed to 3 mornings per week.

You now have to decide where you want to spend that time. Maybe you can attend one group but just as a participant, not as a volunteer, and that would be enough?

Maybe you want to volunteer in one and only one for all the time?

If you’ve already committed to these projects, and you want to get out of them, this time of year is perfect.

Tell the organiser that you’ve been thinking/ praying about your commitments for next year and while you’d be perfectly happy to finish out the year, next year you can only commit to ____ hours a week/ month. Or only help out at the annual ______.

How does that sound?

I know that the issue of overcommitting is not uncommon.

Do you have a problem saying yes first and then thinking through all the repercussions? Have you started thinking about your involvement in projects, clubs, groups for next year?

PS My one friend already told me what she’s getting out of doing next year 😉

If you have any questions you want answered on the blog vs in a virtual organising session, click here to send me an email.

Some must-read links

beach

I suspect many people fall prey to perfectionism. That’s why I loved this post.

A no for a yes

You are enough. With or without goals

Which was your favourite one?

Why you must learn to say no

One of my favourite experts on goal-setting, Gary Ryan Blair, said this: “success in life requires a short “Yes” list, and a long “No” list”

I tend to agree with him.

Whenever I coach time management clients or get interviewed on time management tips, one of the first things I tell people is this:

The absolute quickest way to get results with your time is to learn which things to say yes to and which to say no to.

And the no list should always be longer.

There are far more demands on our time than we can ever hope to satisfy. From requests for time commitments to outside stimuli like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, blogs, telephone and text messages, the list goes on and on.

Remember, you ALWAYS say no to at least one thing when you say yes to something else.

For example…

– if you say yes to volunteering on 3 committees, you’re saying no to one or all of the following: your family, your self-care, your exercise time, your household…

– if you say yes to that beautiful new pair of shoes you really can’t afford, you’re saying no to your debt-reduction plan and maybe to some more clutter!

– if you say yes to a job offer with very demanding time pressures, you may be saying no to your family, personal and fitness time.

No is a small word but is often so hard to say.

The good news is that saying no is exactly like going to the gym and building some muscle.

It feels very uncomfortable at first but the more you work at it, the easier it becomes.

Saying no is exactly the same.

The first couple of times you will cringe inside as you hear yourself saying no, wondering if your family, friends and colleagues still like you.

Once you get a bit more practice, you start to get more comfortable and very soon, you’ll develop an ease and grace about it.

Why should you say no?

1. it helps you set firm boundaries

2. it helps you honour your values

3. it makes you more productive

4. it reduces your stress

5. it frees you to serve where you’re called to with joy

6. it makes people respect you as you respect your priorities

I’m challenging you to SLOW DOWN and think carefully before you say yes to anything.

In fact, why don’t you start saying, “let me get back to you on that” so you think clearly about the situation before committing yourself.

And when you say no to things that don’t support your goals, you’re free to say yes to all the things that really do matter to you.

What do you need to say no to this week?

 

7 ways to say no without feeling guilty

It’s such a small word but so difficult to use sometimes. We seem to use this word so easily with our spouse and children but have a hard time saying it to other people. So the trick is to figure out how and when to say no.

I’m not saying that you should be selfish and never help anybody out. However, most people are running around stressed because they’re saying yes to everybody but themselves.

You should only be saying yes when you genuinely want to do something, you feel excitement at the thought of doing it or it ties in with your life goals or definition of success.

 

1. You don’t have to have another appointment first in order to say no

If you’ve planned to have an evening in (bubble bath, reading, TV, tidying the house) and you get invited out, this does not automatically mean you have to accept. An appointment with yourself is just as important as one with other people. Value your time!

2. Realise that when you say yes to one thing, you ALWAYS say no to something else

When this happens, you usually say no to the more important parts of your life – God, family, yourself. For example, you’re asked to help out on a committee at your child’s school. You could end up so busy with committee work that you deprive your child of quality time. Another example is saying yes to everybody at work collecting money for birthdays, leaving presents, etc, and no to your own financial future.

3. Don’t instinctively say yes. Buy time to think about it first.

Always check your diary first before committing to plans. Or just take a deep breath. Otherwise you end up saying yes to everything and at the end of a hectic period, you’re virtually burnt out.

4. It becomes easier to say yes the more you practise

At first when you have to say no to something or someone, it feels terrible. But it is incredibly empowering when you realise that you made the correct decision in saying no. It is an acquired skill and the more you use your “no” muscle, the stronger it’ll get. I promise.

5. When you say yes and you feel resentment, it means that you should have said no

Learn to listen to your heart. The Bible says that we mustn’t give grudgingly or under compulsion, and yet, so many of us do. We say yes, and harbour deep feelings of resentment and bitterness. Nothing good comes from a resentful attitude.

6. Saying no comes easier when you are confident in your own capabilities

When you say no firmly and without apology, it affirms your self-worth and it’s a way to stand up for yourself. Men seem to do really well at this but women seem to want to explain everything and apologise while they’re saying no.

7. You don’t have to be rude or ugly about it – there are many ways to say no

No can be “I can’t help you this time”, “I can only do it next month”, “that’s not my strong suit” or simply “no, thanks”.

THIS WEEK’S COACHING CHALLENGE

1. Make a quality decision this week to look at your schedule and see where you’re saying yes to activities or commitments that don’t support your goals. Then, work at saying no to them so you can say yes to more important things.

2. If you need help or support, contact me for a once-off coaching session to help get you unstuck or book a get-acquainted chat with me to see if we’re a good fit for a monthly coaching relationship.

RESOURCES

1. How to say no …and live to tell about it – Mary Byers (one of my absolute FAVOURITES on time mastery – I bought this one in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for 33 Ringgit 🙂 many moons ago)

2. Book a Success Strategy Session with me and let’s brainstorm why and how to overcome your limiting people-pleasing behaviour.

 On a scale of 1 – 10 with 1 being “I’m terrible at saying no” and 10 being “it’s easy for me to say no”, where do you think you fall?

 

{Chloe} on simplify your life – week 6 – saying no

Ah, saying no… quite a program for this week, isn’t it?

Well, to me saying no is something quite difficult to do.

Not because I can’t say no, but because I don’t say it in a good way.

I’m very strong-minded and I have a sharp tongue, and if I don’t pay attention I can be very rude. Knowing that, I was especially interested into the tips that Marcia would give in this week’s lesson about how to say no in an effective and good way.

Strangely, “NO” can be very positive and “yes” can be negative: “When you say yes to one thing, you always say no to something else”, says Marcia.

And the opposite is true. Saying no to something that isn’t aligned with the life your pursue is saying yes to your true goals and aspirations.

The things I want to say no to are the following:

  • accepting extra work that isn’t my responsability, especially when there is nothing good in return,
  • tolerating when someone is unfair and disrespectful to my work and, consequently, to me,
  • doing extra work without even being asked to.

Once again, the professional area is the one I’ll be focusing on, as I feel respected in my private life.

What I liked most about this week’s lesson is that the last page focus on enjoying life. It helps realising that, when you say no to some unimportant, negative, useless things, you have more time, more energy and more life to spend doing important, positive things, that make you grow and feel happy.

The next month will be extremely busy at work, and we’ll have an infertility treatment right after that (frozen embryo transfer), so needless to say that it’ll be a stressful time.

Remembering to enjoy life will be more important than ever, and I’ve already scheduled some fun events: a maternity photo session with a pregnant friend of mine, some pages I want to scrap, a lunch with my friends.

All those steps will make the stressful period easier to go through.

Take care!
Chloe

Hi, Marcia here

Chloe, I love how you’ve already scheduled lots of fun events to keep you focussed and looking forward. Fantastic!!!

(you’ll see exactly why when you read tomorrow’s newsletter ;))

All the best with your FET and with saying no to things you want less of in your life.

Over to you – how easy is it for you to say no?

PS Sam’s had sick kiddos and will be back once they’re healthy again 🙂

5 Things You Must Do to Have More Time

One of the most common goals my clients tell me about is that they want more time.

If you can relate, I have good news for you – if you put just one of these tips into practice, you will save hours every week:

1. Learn to say no

Saying no helps you set strong boundaries.

What do you have to say no to so that you can say yes to your goals this year?

2. Play to your strengths

With everything in life, I believe you should play to your strengths.

If you’re terrible at cleaning your house, hire a cleaning lady. If you’re not great at organising, hire a professional organiser.

3. Learn to prioritise

When you know how to prioritise, even if you only get one or two things done daily, they will always be the right things and not just busy work.

4. Set up systems

Systems save you space, time, energy, money and stress.

Meal planning is a system for organising and preparing meals. Regular computer back-up is another system to keep your computer running smoothly.

What kinds of systems can you put in place?

5. Work smarter

Group tasks so that you only do preparation ONCE. Make your client calls all at the same time. You’ll be on a roll, get through them a lot faster and save energy because you don’t have to get into phone mode more than once.

Make your work do double duty. If you type a certain type of email often, make an auto text entry and save the template. If you write a comment on a blog, expand that same comment and write a blog post of your own.

Don’t get overwhelmed – work on just one of these tips consistently until it becomes a habit and keep adding another until you have it all mastered.

Marcia Francois is a time management and business organising coach who helps small business owners make the most of their time. Visit http://organiseyourbusiness.com for your free 7-part audio series, 7 tips for time-strapped business owners.

Are you a yes-aholic?

I spent this last week travelling to two cities here in South Africa doing some speaking and you know what I realised?

That people really are the same everywhere.

In Johannesburg, we like to say those in Cape Town are more laid back and they, of course, think we run around like headless chickens.

I think both of us are right 🙂

Of course, those from Durban would never survive these tough Jhb winters whereas I literally wilt in their heat. I did find the Durban drivers extremely courteous though 😉

Based on what some of the ladies at the talks came to chat to me about afterwards, I can honestly say that people all over (the world) have the same difficulty in saying no to requests for their time, energy and help.

So I’m really, really looking forward to sharing with you in this week’s teleclass how to say no without feeling guilty.

Are you joining me?

This teleclass is priced so low it’s practically free. I’ve done it like this so that it won’t be a barrier for anyone.

Will you be on the call on Thursday?

Read more to see if this class could help you

As always, I’ve picked the best time of day for MOST people in the world…. BUT if the time doesn’t suit you, you will have the downloadable recording in your inbox within 24 hours.

Do you know how to say no without feeling guilty?

Do you struggle to say no, even when you know you should?

Or if you are able to say no, do you feel guilty for ages afterwards?

Join me for a teleclass on Thursday 22 July to finally learn exactly how to say no without feeling guilty.

I will show you how in a comfortable, step-by-step, manner that won’t make you squirm or cringe inside.

Date and time Thursday 22nd July at 1 PM EST (7 PM South African time)

(If you can’t make the time, the recording will be available within 24 hours)

Book your place now

What do you find most difficult about saying no?

P.S. If the link is not clickable, type http://tinyurl.com/saynoteleclass into your browser

Why you must learn to say no

Success in life requires a short “Yes” list, and a long “No” list. – Gary Ryan Blair

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Whenever I coach time management clients, one of the first things I tell them is this:

You ALWAYS say no to at least one thing when you say yes to something else.

For example…

  • if you say yes to volunteering on 3 committees, you’re saying no to one or all of the following: your family, your self-care, your exercise time, your household…
  • if you say yes to that beautiful new pair of shoes you really can’t afford, you’re saying no to your debt-reduction plan!
  • if you say yes to having an absolutely spotless home all the time, chances are you’re saying no to fun times playing with your kids on the floor 🙂

No is such a small word but is often so hard to say.

Why should you say no?

1. it helps you set firm boundaries
2. it helps you honour your values
3. it makes you more productive
4. it reduces your stress
5. it frees you to serve where you’re called to with joy

This week, I’m challenging you to SLOW DOWN and think carefully before you say yes to anything.

In fact, when next someone asks you to do something or attend an event, why don’t you start by saying, “let me get back to you on that” so you can think clearly about the situation before committing yourself.

On a scale of one to ten, how easy is it for you to say no?

For me, I’d say about an 8 or 9, depending on who I’m talking to 🙂

P.S. Learning to say no is one of the key principles of effective time management. I need more time will help you if this is one of your frustrations.

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