You don’t have to let yourself be terrorized by other people’s expectations of you.” – Sue Patton Thoele.
Let me be frank, this world is a highly competitive place. There are hundreds of thousands of people competing in fields just as I am writing this, so more and more concentration is needed everyday just to stay focused and complete those daily tasks to pursue the longer-term goals, right?
We can be reached just about any day at any time in the technological word. I’m talking by email, text, fax, cell phone, social media. If you’re not at an office or busy, people will leave messages or maybe would even use call waiting.
Your kids will want things, coworkers might need help when it’s their responsibility to finish, boss wants you to do extra shifts, sister wants you to keep an eye on the kids…..I can go on and on.
Simply put…we take on a heck of a lot more than we can comfortably deliver.
I, myself, don’t have this problem – yet. In the future, I will definitely need a personal assistant. For the meantime, you guys just have to say no.
I had a colleague before get asked a favor and he said no very frankly. I thought it was blatantly rude, but most successful people out there would say “no” and that’s it.
In the future, when you’re peddling the business, you’re going to have to eliminate those activities, requests, and other time-stealers in its entirety that don’t have the highest payoff.
For example, Jack Canfield has his “don’t do” policy….
- I don’t give endorsements for books of fiction.
- I don’t schedule more than five talks in one month.
- I no longer coauthor books with first-time authors. Their learning curve is too time-consuming and expensive.
- I don’t take any calls on Tuesday and Thursdays. Those are writing or product development days.
- I don’t lend my books to other people. They rarely come back, and they are the source of my livelihood, so I don’t lend them out.
- I don’t lend money. I am not a bank. (THE TRUTH!!!!)
- I don’t discuss charitable contributions over the phone. Send me something in writing.
Say No To The Good So That You Can Say Yes To The Great
An incredible example to this is I was actually denied a job teaching a test preparation course called (TOEIC) at a particular place years ago because the owner was scared the students would complain that I was black.
Shortly after, the boss underneath him approached me and said, “hey, I got you in for the course. Can you still do it”
Months later, I ended up teaching TOEIC in front of 100 students on a crazy excursion and have had bigger projects whereas I’ve taught 300 at one time.
Is this your situation – constantly chasing after mediocre prospects or pursuing misguided, racial schemes for success when you could be holding at bay opportunities for astounding achievement?
Jack Canfield – “Instead of dedicating yourself – and your time – to mundane, nonproductive, time-stealing activities, imagine how rapidly you would reach your goals and improve your life if you said no to those time-wasting activities and instead focused on the 20% of activity that would bring you the most benefit.”
How Can You Determine What’s Truly Great, So You Can Say No To What’s Merely Good?
1. Start by listing your opportunities – one side of the page for good and the other side for great.
2. Talk to advisors about this potential new pursuit.
3. Test the waters. Rather than just take a leap of faith that the new opportunity will proceed as you expect, conduct a small test, spending limited about of time and money.
4. And finally, look at where you spend your time.