How do I decide what to say no to?

We were just talking about the only way to have clear priorities, to know how best to use your time is to commit yourself to fewer things and learn to say NO more. 

That makes sense, but what do I say no to?

You are a talented person; you are good at a lot of things. There are a wide range of ways you can make a dent in the universe, but only if you don’t try to do them all. Today, you can likely only do one of them. 

So here’s some homework to work on together. Grab a piece of paper, a pen, and your most recent to-do list and let’s work through this.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” ~ Steve Jobs 

What are the things on your list that someone else has put there and when you look at them you feel resentment? That resentment might be deep down inside you, but you know it’s there. Cross those off — they are stealing your energy and distracting you from your purpose. (Delegate them if you must, but don’t leave them on your to-do list.)

“Time is a created thing. To say ‘I don’t have time,’ is like saying, ‘I don’t want to.” ~ Lao Tzu 

What are the things on your list that you believe that you want to do but that you are just not doing, that you are making no progress on because you are spending no time on them? 

Cross those things off. You don’t want them enough.

You can move them to a “Someday/Maybe” list where you can retrieve them when you have more desire. But they are no longer on the active roster!

“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” ~ Mother Teresa 

What can you make progress on today? What is one thing that by the end of today you could make significant, demonstrable progress? Prioritize that thing to get done today. 

And by “done” I mean, set a reasonable goal for visible progress. It might not be completely done, but you’ve moved the ball forward — if you keep doing that day after day it will be done.

There, do you feel better now? Do you have a game plan? Hit reply and let me know how that went.

“The trouble is, you think you have time.” ~ Buddha

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