Addition by subtraction

We so often have a hard time saying “No” to anything. That would be admitting that you couldn’t do something, that you’re not Superwoman. Who wants to do that?

Managing your time and responsibilities well will involve saying “No” to some things. They will be good things, but they do not fit. When you are able to look at your options and take out the ones that are not best for today, you are sharpening your focus.

Just like clearing the dinner table before you pull out the homework, clearing your schedule will enable you to better deal with your priorities.

  • You will have the available energy because you are not spending it all before you get to what is truly important.
  • You will have more time to devote to what you need to do because your agenda is not crammed full — too full to do anything well.

Shona Murray addresses this concept, pruning “with the sharp knife of no” on big and small things, in the book Refresh:

With my life purposes in one hand and my limited capacity in the other, I can prune needs and expectations so that I am doing the most important things well and with joy, and I can have a sense of accomplishment as I enjoy some downtime.

Remember, you are the gatekeeper for your schedule. You decide what you need to do. You run your schedule; your schedule should rule you. Flex your muscles, and practice saying “No” today! It is part of using your time wisely, and you will manage your time all the better for it.

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