Mar 4, 2011

If you think it's hard to say "no," think again.

A thought for all the super-busy superwomen and supermen out there.  The adage, "if you want something done, give it to the busiest person you know" is true...those of us who manage to juggle a lot of things can usually manage to juggle a few more when we are asked to, or feel we need to.

But the truth is, our days are finite and they can only be filled to capacity - the laws of time and space dictate how much we can do in a given day.  And at some point, saying yes to one more thing - no matter how worthy the cause or how potentially wonderful the outcome - we are saying no to something (or someone) else.
  • We are saying "no" to a few precious minutes with one of our children, our spouse or to family time.  
  • We are saying "no" to some alone time, to meditate, pray, or study as most of us say we want to.  
  • We are saying "no" to our health and missing sleep or exercise time.
  • We are saying "no" to some uninterrupted quiet time to be contemplative and give our minds time to rest.
If we want to our children to have high self-esteem, we must esteem them enough to give them regular doses of our undivided time and attention.   (If we don't make time for them when they are young, they won't make time for us when they are older.)  If we want to cultivate a deeper relationship with our spouse, it will consume time and energy - no amount of candy or flowers or gifts can substitute for it.  If we want to be more spiritual and draw closer to God, He demands (and is worthy of) of our time and attention. If we want to be physically and emotionally stronger, we must set aside time to build a strong body and healthy perspective on life.

So every time you tell yourself that you can't say "no" to requests for your help, remember when you say yes, you ARE saying no to something or someone else.  Knowing that can make it a lot easier to learn to say "no" to that next project or task that we really DON'T have time for.

Happy prioritizing,