We know there are limits to time, so why do we so often say “yes” to tasks or commitments that are not directly related to our goals? Think of this… when you say “yes” to something that is not aligned with your values to please someone else, you are in effect saying “no” to accomplishing YOUR dreams.

I recently read “The One Thing” by Gary Keller with Jay Papasan.  One of the statements really resonated with me: “… one ‘yes’ must be defended over time by 1000 ‘no’s’.

So what can you do to stay focused on YOUR “yes”?

I recommend following the 3 stages of A.W.E.

AWARENESS – Become crystal clear on your priorities. What is your long-range vision, and what are the short-term activities you need to accomplish to realize this vision?

WORK – Learn to say NO when you receive a request for your time that does not support what you have decided are the most important activities you need to accomplish to live true to your vision.  I know, this can be difficult.  Try these strategies

  • Practice.
  • Role play with a friend.
  • Identify and memorize some scripts so you have the words and are not caught off guard.
  • Anticipate time stealers – and be proactive to head them off at the pass.

EVALUATION – At the end of the week do a time audit.

  • How much time did you spend on YOUR priorities – and how often during the week were you reactive to someone else’s priorities?
  • What requests do you have a tough time saying “no” to?
  • What strategy can you implement to manage these requests?

Saying ‘no” is a skill that takes practice.  Often we are conditioned at an early age to be “nice” and to put other people’s needs ahead of our own.  However, you can be “kind”, respect others, and still put your own priorities first.

Because there are only 168 hours in a week to dedicate to your goals and your life, I’ve created the Magic 168 Action Guide to help you decide what your priorities are so they don’t get hijacked.  This guide is my gift to you – because this “I’m so busy feeling” is NO FUN!  This guide gives you a framework for the steps I outlined above so you can easily take action toward successfully planning your week. You can do this!