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You are NOT too busy

Quit telling everyone how busy you are.

You’re problem is not that you are too busy; your problem is that you don’t own your situation and you don’t know how to say “No.”

You get stressed and frustrated with distractions, fine – we all do. But your life is your fault. Any commitments you have were either made or allowed by you.

It’s not even right to complain or whine to others about how busy you are. You have the same amount of time in a day as Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, Mother Theresa, Michael Jordan, or anyone else who has achieved greatness.

So get over your self-indulgent complaining about how you’re so busy or there just isn’t enough time in a day. If you are saying that to yourself then you are a victim.

The reality is YOU are choosing to try to fit in more than is necessary. YOU are addicted to crossing insignificant things off your list. YOU are overcommitting yourself because of YOUR inability to say no.

If you want to get your peace of mind back then:

1. Own that you are completely in charge of this challenge

2. Learn to and practice saying “no”

3. Focus first on what matters most

Once you own your problem then you will empower yourself to create the solution which is, in some form or fashion, learning to say “no”.

That will then force you to mature to the point that you realize you have to choose to do only the most important things and be ok with the rest disappearing from your list.

You are in charge. You are capable. You are powerful enough to decide what you will and wont do with your time.

But one thing you are not, is too busy.

(Hey Friends, this was my morning pep talk to myself a while back. Thought some of you might relate.)

  • Eric Burnett

    Thank you for you post! I will definitely take action and start saying “no” more often.

  • My pleasure Eric! That is a big decision and definitely one that will translate into more space and margin for you! Thanks for tuning in!

  • Tamil KC

    Thank you for the post. Will start saying “no” more often. Is the “Ghandi” referred in the blog above same as Mahatma Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi ?

  • Tony Palmer

    I wonder if these great people you familiarise your comments with also had such belief in the power of the word no. Your comments are interesting and I will take from this some knowledge of other people’s thought process. I like yes, yes is also good and many great things come from accepting a challenge. I don’t think too busy comes from saying yes but more from a lack of ability to prioritise. Thanks

  • Thanks for pointing this out Tamil! Holy buckets. Big error. We fixed! 🙂

  • Mike V.

    Excellent blog item! This actually has been my journey. Some folks like to think that saying “yes” is better than “no”, but for those of us who are inundated with requests, there comes a point where your God is more important, your family is more important, your friends are more important, and so on. Making it a priority to complete the tasks you have set as a goal is so important. I came to realize some years ago that when I realized that my saying “Yes” would likely cause me to fail, I started to say “No” instead. At first I felt awful. Then as time went on I started to be more successful on the things that I felt were important. This gave me a boost in self-esteem and for the first time in my life, I no longer felt like a failure.
    Since that time, I have learned to focus my energies and I am even more jealous of the time that God has given me in each day. Time to spend with my wife and family, time to accomplish business goals, etc. Sometimes I think that having “extra time” in between tasks to cool down and prepare for the next task is critical. When someone asks me to fill that time with their request, I often say “No” because I know that by saying yes, I will be so beat by the end of the day that my wife will be alone during “our talk time” because I’ll be sound asleep.
    People who don’t get this ruin their lives and I feel sorry for them. It goes along with the Bible verse that says “Be still and know that I am God.” How can we know who God really is when we are so busy with life that we don’t have time to stop and think? Not good!
    Thanks for confirming what I struggled with from my youth.
    -Mike Van Nattan

  • Mike V.

    I’m sure Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, Mother Theresa, and Michael Jordan regularly said NO when someone came along that tried to distract them from their life callings.
    I can’t imagine Michael Jordan saying “Yes” to anything that would distract him from preparing for a game. When someone invited him to a block party during his practice time, I can assure you he said “NO”. You don’t get to his position in history by saying “Yes” at the wrong time.
    Likewise, Mother Theresa undoubtedly did not say “Yes” to excessive behavior when there were hungry to feed.
    This is what Rory is talking about. We need to learn there is a time to say “NO”. **obviously** there are times to say Yes. But what and when you say “Yes” is very important! If you say “Yes” to going out the guys when your family never gets to go out, you should have said “No”. This is what this kind of discussion is about.
    If you plan three 40 hour projects in one week you will not succeed. Being able to say “No”, or “Not now” to someone is critical to your wellbeing and to your health.
    Trust me, I’m the kind of guy who says “Yes” to helping people when they ask for help. But my family comes first – if helping someone else interferes with my family, then I’m sorry, my family comes first.
    Also, when you say “lack of ability to prioritize”, you are basically saying you agree. To my example above, you would realize that your family is a higher priority than someone you don’t know who needs your assistance. In the business world, the task that you must accomplish for your Boss is a higher priority than your co-worker asking for help to organize the filing room. Prioritizing is a nice way of saying “No” to those things that either must wait, or are less of a priority than the one thing you are doing now.
    I recommend reading Rory’s book “Procrastinating on Purpose”. This book galvanized my thinking in this area. If I had been taught this years ago I would have lived a different life by making it a priority to focus on the right things at the right time.