Too Much to Do? Eliminate THIS…
Author: Sandy Schussel
Executive Director of Practice Development with Waddell & Reed, Inc. Mid-Atlantic Complex
“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say NO to almost everything.” ~~ Warren Buffett
Are you feeling overwhelmed because there’s just too much to do?
If you are, eliminate what isn’t working for you. Most of us say “yes” to just about everything we’re asked to do. We are worried we may offend someone or miss an opportunity. If that’s the approach you are taking in your business, it’s no wonder that you feel burnt out. Your inability to say “no” may be one of the problems. No matter how efficient you are, how hard you try, and how well-meaning your efforts, you simply can’t do everything you say “yes” to. Something has to give, and it should not be the health of your business, your relationships, or your own physical or mental health. In order for something to give, some things just have to go.
As author Jack Canfield says, “If you are constantly saying yes to other people, then you are constantly saying no to yourself and your goals.” Your inability or unwillingness to say no to others is interfering with your ability to achieve what you want! You may think you are working hard to create the practice or life you deeply desire, but you are unwittingly working against your own self-interest by taking on tasks and responsibilities that aren’t serving you. Ask yourself whether what is being requested of you aligns with your goals and desires. Consider how much time you may be wasting with projects and activities that you don’t enjoy and don’t serve you simply because you are uncomfortable saying no. Canfield says, “Success depends on getting good at saying no without feeling guilty.”
What to Eliminate
On a regular basis, ask yourself the questions: What can I say no to? Start with the following categories:
- Things you don’t have to do,
- Things you don’t want to do, and
- Things that don’t serve you and your goals.
Cancel your membership to an organization you’re not really getting much out of, even though you joined because your friend invited you. You’re not saying no to your friend, you’re just choosing to spend your time on your goals. Cancel the subscription to that magazine you never read. You know…the one that’s piled up 6-issues high in the corner of your office and stresses you out every time you look at it. Maybe you are still volunteering for a cause you cared deeply about many years ago because you feel guilty about leaving. Make a financial contribution instead. Or you’re still giving too much time to “C” clients, simply because they were your first clients.
Only you know which activities are dragging you down. Make the tough choices. Remember–saying no to others is really saying yes to yourself.
How to Eliminate
Once you’ve decided that an activity, project or event doesn’t serve you, keep it simple. Don’t give a lengthy explanation. You don’t have to justify yourself. Don’t lie or make up a story. It will only make you feel guilty later. Be direct: “I’m sorry, but I have to pass.” “I wish I could, but I’m maxed out right now.” “I appreciate the opportunity, but I’m not taking on any new commitments right now.” Be polite: “Thanks so much for asking.” Make it clear that it’s not about them. “I’m not saying no to you, I’m saying yes to me.” If you have to, Practice saying no. Pucker up in front of the mirror and say the word “NO” over and over, until it comes naturally.
Get out of the habit of people-pleasing and into the habit of taking care of yourself, protecting your time, and empowering yourself to work on what really matters…to YOU.
And always, keep REACHING…
-Ryan & Brian
This article is meant for educational purposes only. It should not be considered investment advice, nor does it constitute a recommendation to take a particular course of action. Please consult with a financial professional regarding your personal situation prior to making any financial related decisions. Waddell & Reed does not provide tax or legal advice. Investing involves risk, including the potential for loss or principal. Waddell & Reed is not affiliated with Jack Canfield and his opinions do not necessarily reflect those of Waddell & Reed or its affiliates. 01/19