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by Lori Herren October 08, 2020 4 min read

In our fast paced world of ever evolving technology, events and more things to become involved in than we can possibly fathom, it’s no surprise that the level of human error is at an all time high. How many times have you found yourself making a simple mistake because your brain was trying to process ten things at one time? Not only is it stressful, it’s not good for you. Stretching yourself too far physically, psychologically and emotionally is going to wind up hurting you in all aspects. Then one day, you realize the dog is in the car seat, the toddler is in the dog kennel and you took the trash to the washing machine, or so I’m told. We’ve come around the concept “it’s really ok to say no” before. Let’s look at how focusing on a few things and doing those few things well translates into us being successful, happy, and not overworked and overwhelmed.

Prioritize Your YES Recipients

There are SO MANY THINGS and people wanting your time and attention. Go through a checklist and narrow down which things and people get top priority status from you. These become your YES recipients.

  • Your spouse, significant other, kids, family are always your FIRST YES!
  • Your career/business, obviously, is something you must say yes to, but be careful it doesn’t negatively impact your time with your family.
  • Your close friends, the ones who keep you going

 

These are your YES people/priorities. Not sure who or what else should be a yes? Use these questions as a way to filter what is a good yes, our “should this be a yes or no” checklist.

  • Does this person/organization/activity bring peace and joy into your life, or does it just add countless things to your calendar?
  • Does this yes bind you to a timeline? A year or more commitment?
  • Does this yes help you in making your loved ones a priority, meaning does it give you more time with them or take AWAY time from them?
  • Does this yes expect you to take time and attention away from your job?
  • Does this yes put more on your shoulders that will cause you stress, loss of sleep or hurt your relationship with others?

 

Learn That NO Is Really An Ok Answer

If you are going to choose a few things to focus on so you can "do a few things well," you will ultimately have to give “no” as an answer to other things. And here’s the most important part of that: It’s really ok to say no, it really is! Not convinced yet?

  • When you are asked a question, faced with a decision, no is always one of the choices.
  • No doesn’t mean you don’t care or are a bad person, it means you are fully committed to your yes decisions.
  • Your decision to say no and only focus on a few things could encourage other people to do the same.
  • Let your no be no. You don’t have to tell everyone in great detail why your answer is no.
  • Your no isn’t about closing yourself off, it’s about opening the door even wider to your yes choices.
  • Saying no outlines your boundaries, to you and to others.

 

Take Your Few Things And Make Them GREAT Things

In his book Deep Work, author Cal Newport talks about how “deep work, itself is the ability to focus without any distractions on a demanding task. It’s a skill that enables you to quickly master complicated information and produce better results in less time.” This illustrates for us that with fewer things on your plate, you are able to give them more time, focus and attention and do them well. Focus is key for success, that’s why your focus cannot be on too many things at once. Multitasking is a really hot term these days. Its definition states that a person that can deal with numerous tasks all at the same time is multitasking. The question to ask yourself is this: I may be multitasking with the best of them, but is what I’m juggling at the same time being done the best ways possible? Take some time for personal reflection and prioritize your important yes things in life. Then put the rest to the test using our “should this be a yes or no” checklist from above. You will find, as you simplify your life, that less is really more, because you have more of you to give.

 

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Sources:

https://www.calnewport.com/books/deep-work/

https://lifehacker.com/when-to-say-no-do-a-couple-things-well-instead-of-ever-1656927252


Lori Herren
Lori Herren

Lori D. Herren is a graduate of the University of West Georgia where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications for Broadcast Journalism and Public Relations, with minors in Marketing and Music. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends and pursuing her love of music.


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