“Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it you can never get it back.”

~ Harvey Mackay

If you always seem to be short on time for tasks that matter, there’s a three-letter word that may be the cause.

Watch the video below (or read the transcript that follows) to learn what it is and what you can do to take back time.

In the last couple of months, I said it too much for asks that maybe shouldn’t have been a priority; classes I didn’t need to teach, meetings I didn’t need to take, coffees and phone calls that should have waited, an event I had no real reason to be at…I’m sure you can relate. Those low priority asks ate up some precious time, all because I didn’t listen to my gut about how to respond.

So, I’m going to share a simple but OMG POWERFUL strategy you can use to determine if an ASK becomes a TASK you should really take on. (Can I get a HELL YEAH!)

How valuable is your time? I mean really? We only get 24 hours a day…1440 minutes. Seems like a lot but it goes by like that doesn’t it? If you’re using 8 hours for sleep (I hope you are!), you’ve only got 16 waking hours to work with (960 minutes). And if we’re honest, only so much of that time can be put toward truly meaningful work. Are you making your minutes matter? And why does it matter?

Think of the minutes in your day as inventory. Once you’ve sold a minute to one task it can’t be bought back. Every minute your give away to something that’s not in alignment with your goals and objectives drains you of energy and slows your progress forward. I talk about it in video 32 – Get to Know NO. And sometimes you should consider NO…

If it’s not in your job description…

If it’s not helping you reach your personal or professional goals…

If saying yes will take you away from more important tasks…

If you’re simply saying YES because it’s easier than saying no…STOP and consider every request for your time.

And then consider this simple but OMG POWERFUL strategy. When someone asks you for your time – to help them, to work on a project, to step onto a committee, to meet for coffee, to go to an event – if your immediate thought isn’t “HELL YEAH I WANT TO DO THAT!” then maybe you should say NO?

There are enough situations in your day when you have to say yes, where you don’t have a choice, so when you do have a choice, make sure there’s a HELL YEAH attached to giving up that time. And I’m not talking about a tepid “yeah, that’d be alright” kind of YES. Most of the stuff we take on has some level of ‘okayness’ attached to it, so don’t fall into the trap.

I’m talking about a gut-feel, I’m excited about that, I will look forward to that, it will entertain me, challenge me, change me HELL YEAH kind of YES.

And just so we’re clear, sometimes HELL YEAH is to drive that personal or professional goal forward: “Hell yeah, I want to take that course, or sit on that committee or run that race.” And sometimes HELL YEAH means “I’m not sure I have the time, but that’s a good cause and I really want to help.” And yes, sometimes it’s as simple as, “HELL YEAH, snowboarding this weekend would be sooo much fun!” It could even mean: “That’ll be hard freakin’ work and it scares the crap out of me…but HELL YEAH it’ll be worth it!”

With this simple check in, I want to help you avoid giving your time away out of a lukewarm sense of obligation, or to be kind, or because you know you can help (even if you don’t really want to). I don’t know about you, but when I do that too much, energy drains, resentment builds, and I start to feel inefficient and apathetic toward everything.

It’s important to be a bit selfish some of the time so you can give your very best to the activities, goals and projects that really matter to you. Do that and you’ll no doubt do your best work. You’ll get energized by meaningful work, and you’ll be motivated to keep doing the freakin’ work! Can I get a HELL YEAH?!

And if you need tips for how to say no with confidence and professionalism, don’t forget to watch video 32. While you’re there, subscribe, comment and share!

Until next time I’m Michelle Cederberg helping you transform your work and life, one HELL YEAH recharge at a time!

Michelle Cederberg, CSP, MKin, BA Psyc

Empowering today’s dreamers, leaders and go-getters to create the life and career they want.


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