Are you struggling to make progress towards your goals? First, take another look at your goal. Is it really YOUR goal? Something you are passionate about? If not, that could be why you are struggling to make it a priority each day. (Identifying your goal is a topic for another post.) However, if this is your burning desire goal, the issue is probably time management. You may just have too much on your plate to devote the time needed to your goal. Learn to say “no”.
Often, we find ourselves saying “yes” to please others. However, because we are already over-committed, we do a mediocre job on the new task and our priorities take a back seat. Now, we have disappointed the person we agreed to help, and ourselves. When deciding to add something new to your schedule, ask yourself, “Will this task get me closer to my goals?” If so, great! Carve some time out into your schedule and commit to doing a first-rate job. However, if the new task does not drive you in the direction of one of your main goals, then say “NO”.
NOTE: One of the tips that I’ve implemented is to not make a commitment on the spot. Often, we feel pressured to make a decision. I now use the phrase, “If you need an answer right now, I must decline. However, if you can give me 24 hours to check my schedule and get back to you, I may be able to say yes.” This allows me time to decide if I the new activity fits into my priorities, rather than “going with the flow”.
After you’ve determined that the new activity doesn’t fit your priorities, decline the task firmly and concisely. Some wording you can use:
* “I’d love to help, but that just won’t fit into my schedule.”
* “This just isn’t my area of expertise; maybe Sue can help you.”
* “I’m over-committed right now and I just wouldn’t be able to give this the time it deserves, so I’ll need to pass. Please ask me again in the future in case my schedule opens up.”
If you feel you must say “yes”, put some time constraints on it. Try using the phrases:
* “I can only commit one hour to this project on Tuesday.”
* “I am happy to help you with this project, however I will be unable to lead the committee. I feel confident that I can commit to attending the two planning meetings.”
Remember, it’s easier to say NO now, and change your answer to YES later, rather than the other way around. Try saying NO this month and you will have more time to devote to your goals.
Lisa Crilley Mallis the owner of SystemSavvy Consulting and the creator of the College Success Initiative. She has assisted many students, solopreneurs, and busy moms, increase productivity and decrease clutter. Visit http://www.SystemSavvyConsulting.com for more helpful tips.