In Tuesday’s email, I talked about a mentor who challenged me to “Ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.” Attempting to do that led me to see some deep fears driving much of my hurry and busyness.
If I want to be less busy, I have to say “no” to more things. But saying no terrified me.
- If I’m not available for my clients, will they still want to work with me? Will they go someplace else?
- How will they know I’m working hard for them if I don’t deliver quickly?
- If I’m not “on top of everything,” it’s hard for me to feel like I’m doing a good job.
Again, not having any suitable alternatives, I decided to say no despite my fear.
No one blinked!
- When I said, “No, I can’t meet on Friday, how about Tuesday? No one thought I was unavailable; we just talked about a different date.”
- When I asked, “When do you need this by?” clients often said, “I can’t look at it in the next week, so next Friday is fine.” I would have worked all weekend to get it out on Monday if I didn’t ask.
- When I put blocks on my calendar to have dedicated time to do the work of running my business, no one thought I was cheating. No one suggested, why don’t you do that nights and weekends!
On Tuesday, I asked, “If you could find a way to be 50% less busy, what would that do for your business and life?”
I found out that the only thing standing between my life of too much busyness and that dream of more spacious work was my own fear.