Busy = Out of Control


Are you in control of your time?

Or are you so busy it feels like you don't have any time?

For a long while, I was out of control.

I struggled to say no.

This led to me being overwhelmed with work. I lost control and faced burnout.

Over the last 18 months, I've learned to take back control of my time, my focus, and my life.

And it all started with saying no.

A lack of time = A lack of clear goals + A lack of priorities

Being busy comes down to the choices I made.

I had to re-assess my goals and priorities.

I also had to learn how to say ‘No’.

"Everything you say yes to is saying no to something else."
- Ryan Holiday

I said yes to too much stuff.

Sometimes I said yes when I wanted to say no.

Other times I said no poorly.

More often than not, I didn’t say anything in the hope that the problem went away. I stuck my head in the sand. This doesn’t make the problem go away.

Once I aligned my priorities and set clear goals, saying no became easy.

Saying no frees up time to do the things I value, not what other people think is important.

Saying no is about me and no one else.

How I have said no effectively

  1. Just Say it. Don’t beat around the bush as this provides an opening. Provide a brief explanation if necessary, but don’t be compelled to. The less said the better.
  2. Be assertive and courteous. Take charge and tell people that you’ll let them know when and if you can action an opportunity.
  3. Be firm. If someone can’t accept your no, stand firm. Don’t be compelled to accept their request because that person is uncomfortable.
  4. Be selfish. Put your needs first, not those of the person asking.
  5. Be grateful for being asked. A little bit of gratitude helps soften the delivery and will show that you care as well.

Saying no has been the most direct way I’ve found to take back control of my time, my health, and ultimately, my life.