Just Say No!

This post isn’t about the War On Drugs, but I’m stealing Nancy’s famous words for another crusade.

When you decide to challenge yourself and grow, you must make room in your life for the challenge and the growth.   There has to be room in your day and room in your mind.

Room in your day–in other words, time.  Most folks are busy from the time they wake up until the time they retire at night.  If you are like me, your 18 or so awake hours are filled to the brim.

If you are serious about making a change or growing, you will need to conjure up some time to accomplish this.  Since you cannot make more time (shucks!) you will have to make more of your time.  It will be important for you to say “NO” to some of the activities that fill up your days right now.

Take a long, hard look at how you are actually spending your time.  You might want to keep a journal for a few days just to see where you are spending your time.  In order to find the time to work on your dreams and goals, you will need to squeeze it out of your current day.  You will have to give some things up.

THINGS TO SAY “NO” TO IN ORDER TO GET MORE TIME

1.)  Television.  This is such an easy target, but if you watch more than a tiny amount of T.V. it is time to break the habit.  Get over watching other people’s lives and start living your own.

2.)  Gossip.  Gossip is a huge time waster and it happens everywhere–in the office, at the playground, around the house.  Grab your coffee and move on.  Close your office door. Pretend to be on the phone when the office gossip passes by.  Rid yourself of this time waster!

3.) Meetings.  Meetings can waste time.  Next time you attend a meeting, notice how much time is spent moving the group forward and how much time is wasted.  Attend as few meetings as possible.  Can you have the minutes sent to you?  Can you attend every other meeting?

4.) Housekeeping.  Can you hire these chores out?  Think hard about this.   As soon as you can find the extra money, hiring out the cleaning or the lawn (or both) will free up a lot of time.

5.) Sleeping.  I know, I know, we all need a good night’s sleep.  However, if you are sleeping 8 hours or more, you might want to TRY giving up 15 minutes of sleep.  Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier for a week and then measure how you feel.  If you are tired and cranky–go back to your normal amount of sleep.  But, if you are not noticing a difference, you just gained almost 2 hours a week!

6.)  Cooking.  There is no reason to spend hours on cooking if this isn’t something you love. The important part of dinner is the family interaction, not what is on the plates.  Cut back on the amount of time you spend in the kitchen buy using your crock pot or buying simpler meals.

USING THE MOST OF “DOWN” TIME:

1.)  Listen to motivational CD’s in the car, while you work out or when you clean the house. You can get these at the library for FREE or use You Tube and your smartphone.

My latest favorites:  John Maxwell, Wayne Dyer and Bob Proctor

2.)  Have a book or a journal or a laptop with you while waiting for the children.  I have four children and spend a large number of hours driving them around and waiting for them at their various activities.  I always have a book or journal ready to pass the time in a productive way.

3.)  Discipline yourself to focus.  This is my biggest area that needs improvement.  A lot of entrepreneurs, I know, are like me.  We jump from idea to idea sometimes not getting a lot done before getting distracted or starting on something new.  Make a list of the six most important things to do each day and do them, one at a time, until you are finished.  If any are leftover, start there the next day.  I will recall this advice and use it.

As always, your comments are welcome here.  Let us know what you are saying “no” to!

 

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