How to Save Time and Find Balance By Saying “No”
As women entrepreneurs, we wear many, MANY hats each day.
Not only are we business owners, employers, employees, and co-workers; we’re also designers, creative thinkers, collaborators, social media updaters, bug fixers and paycheck writers.
And then, on top of that all, many of us are moms, wives, aunts, grandmas, friends, volunteers, committee chairs, home renovators, budget makers, menu planners, “taxi” drivers, laundry doers, toilet cleaners… and the list goes on!
It’s safe to say that yes, WE. ARE. BUSY!
Last year, I talked about 4 different choices we have when we’re super busy and short on time (which probably happens a lot). The 4 choices I mentioned were:
- Streamline the activities so they take less time.
- Steal time from another activity.
- Find someone else to do the tasks for you.
- Drop the tasks completely.
Out of all of those options, the least popular (and often the most difficult to do) is #4.
However, in my experience, saying “no” and dropping a task (that I don’t have the time or energy for) can be SO freeing — and exactly what I need to simplify.
READ MORE: More productivity ideas
Dropping a task might be something as small as canceling a lunch appointment or deciding not to stop the gym on the way home from work because there are plenty of other more important things you could be doing with your time. Or, it might be something as big as changing a business or life goal because of circumstances out of our control.
Obviously, there are some things we can’t just drop because we are responsible adults. But if we really stop and think about it, there are most likely MANY things we do on a daily and weekly basis that we we feel pressured or guilted into doing—or maybe it’s just me!
>> We feel like we HAVE to say yes to housework because company is coming over.
>> We feel like we HAVE to say yes to another committee or volunteer opportunity.
>> We feel like we HAVE to say yes to more hours or another project at work.
>> We feel like we HAVE to say yes to making fancy treats for our kids’ school because the other moms do.
>> We feel like we HAVE to say yes to every client that walks through our door.
I could go on and on!
The point is that if we just stop and think about all the things we do each day, I’m guessing that there are at least a few tasks we can drop to open up a little more breathing room in our schedules.
What if you feel like you just can’t drop a task?
If you’re struggling with dropping a task or knowing WHAT tasks to drop, here are a two simple steps that might offer a little more perspective:
1. Take a look at your schedule and really evaluate everything you’re doing each day and week.
2. Pause for a moment and consider what your time is worth and whether it’s worth spending time on all the activities on your schedule.
If the items you listed out in #1 are not worth the value you’ve place on your time in #2, that’s probably a good indication that those tasks can be dropped.
While some of the busyness in our lives is caused by activities we really DO have to do (and want to do), there are plenty of other things we don’t have to do. And I know that whenever I’ve dropped a task, I’ve always felt a sense of relief afterward — which is almost as nice as the extra time in my schedule!
About the Author:
Andrea Dekker is the simple living enthusiast behind the Andrea Dekker blog, business, and brand. She is passionate about simplifying every aspect of life in a way that makes sense for real people with real lives and real budgets. She lives her version of “simple” in a 125-year-old farmhouse with her husband, their 2 children, and an ever growing to-do list.