I find myself many times in a situation when I have to say no to many of the things that come to my mind. I capture everything around me that I think will be useful for me in the future. However, that’s way of starting doing things is dangerous because I can easily find myself in a position with too many things that I want to be done, but in the reality, it is impossible.
I need to say no to many of the things, because I know that I have only 24 hours in my day, and I have to use that time very optimal.
Saying no isn’t an easy task, and can’t be done today, and last forever. Tomorrow, again, you will have many possible tasks, possible ideas and possible things that you want, or wish to do. Saying no will need exercises from your side.
My exercises start with implementing different systems that will help me manage my time, and my daily tasks that I want and need to do and in a same time to have time for other personal activities.
Here is a list of some changes that I made in the last several years to implement a systematic approach to say no for many things.
- First, I need a system to capture everything that I think will be important for me. It’s things that come to my mind in a form of ideas, to dos, reading lists, wishes… Because my mind is not in a position for rational decision about what is important, urgent, or do I have a time to make something in that moment I want to have everything in some place where I can come later and process it. That place now is Evernote where I capture everything from my mind.
- Second, I need a time that I will use to process that things and decide what will be next steps. Because my list of stuff that I put into capturing process can be very long, and I know that I can’t start doing everything I need to say no to many of that things. That decision will be made on a daily basis when I process my inbox with everything that I put there on that day. This part of the process is again some type of exercise, because I need routine each day to process everything.
- Third thing is saying no to many things. When I say no, I didn’t mean that all things will be permanently eliminated because many of them will stay as an option for the future, or will be implemented from other people.
- I say no to things that are not important and urgent for me. That things I permanently delete from my inbox because I don’t want to bother myself with them. They are non sense for losing my time.
- I say no to things that I think someone else can do for me. That things I delegate.
- I say no to things that are important but not so urgent for me. That isn’t real no, because these things will stay somewhere in my task management system, because I will schedule them to be implemented in the future, or simply to remind me that I have something like that.
In such a way, I can simply eliminate in most of the cases more than a half of tasks, ensuring that I will work on what’s most important and urgent for me, and everything else that is important will be processed in an appropriate way to be completed.
I want to mention here, that this process is not successful because of the process, it can be successful because of your mindset. If you decide, to become more productive and more focused on what’s important for you, you will need to experiment and exercise with different approaches.
I will talk more about some of the processes that I use in one of the future posts.