Time Management: Protect Your Focus
I consider myself a recovering people-pleaser and I used to be a “yes woman” through and through (personally and professionally). There are many reasons behind this and I continue to learn and gain greater self-insight nearly every day.
There's a dual-edge to my tendency to say "yes" in that I truly enjoy taking on new and interesting work, seeing friends and family, and attending events; yet, I also have a tendency to over-commit myself. This is particularly likely to happen when I'm under pressure and feeling overcapacity.
When I'm considering saying no, I often wonder:
What would people think?
Will my friends/family be disappointed or feel they’re not a priority?
Is saying no a sign of weakness or a signal that I can’t manage my workload?
Will I get another opportunity like this?
That’s a reel of thought bubbles running through my head.
Have you ever found yourself drowning in responsibilities and commitments and wondering how you got there?
Before we can change our thoughts, we must address our behaviors. The behavior that led me astray was a reluctance to say no in order to protect my time and energy, and be intentional in my commitments.
Reframing the question as: “if you say yes to this, what will you be saying no to?” helped me tremendously.
Saying yes to one more project means saying no to adequate sleep and self-care.
Saying yes to another weekend commitment means saying no to a free, unscheduled day.
And, let's reframe it again:
Saying no to one more project means I can prioritize my sleep and self-care.
Saying no to a weekend commitment means I can enjoy a free, unscheduled day.
How do you stay intentional and protective of your time?
How do you make sure you're prioritizing yourself?