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To Think About . . .
Within a sequence of decisions, your most hesitant and vague decision will have the greatest effect on the overall consequences. Alexander Cortes
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« Simplify! | Main | Dieting: The New Rule Starts Well »

The Best Time Management Tool

What do you think is the best time management tool? One which can free up acres of time for you to use as you like… one which can reduce the pressure on you… one which very few people use effectively?

There’s no doubt about the answer in my mind. It’s the ability to say NO.

Most of us take on far too many things, and then we wonder why our lives are filled with rush from one day to another. We can’t say no to our boss, we can’t say no to our friends, we can’t say no to our family, and worst of all we can’t say no to ourselves!

The problem is that our natural tendency is to say Yes because we want to please. We then usually spend a lot of time regretting taking on yet another thing.

So why don’t we try reversing this and make it our natural tendency to say No to any request. If someone asks you to do something make it your first reaction to say NO. If you then decide you really would like to do it that’s fine, but the important thing is to get out of the habit of saying Yes before you are really sure you want to do it.

You can make a game of this. See how many Noes you can collect during a day.And don’t forget to include yourself among the people you say No to!

When you say No it is best not to offer any excuse for doing so. Otherwise you will simply find that you end up defending your excuse, and when it’s been demolished it is then even more difficult to say No. Just make a firm
statement on the lines of: “I’m sorry I’d like to help, but I can’t fit that into my priorities at the moment.” And if you are challenged further, just repeat it.

Reader Comments (1)

Mark, Initially when I read this, I simply let it go in one ear and out the other because I've heard this advice so many times. Then today, it really struck me a hard blow. I was telling myself that this is old advice and to dismiss it because I already know it but........then it struck me that the TRUE REASON I've always ignored this is because I'm not sure I have the stones to actually try it! I've never allowed myself to truly contemplate how much social pressures and my taking on various projects really add lots of totally unnecessary pressure to my life. At this point, I'm still to cowardly to actually give it a solid attempt, but I'm definitely thinking seriously about giving it an earnest attempt. I'm actually nervous thinking about it! LOL! Thank you once again for offering yet another piece of the puzzle toward improving my life and challenging me toward more genuine autonomous thinking....dare I? LOL!
March 26, 2007 at 2:55 | Unregistered Commenterlearning as I go

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