“You will never ‘find’ time for anything. If you want time, you must make it.”

~ Charles Buxton

This whole concept of MAKING time for things that matter, rather than finding time in a schedule that has none… well it’s something I need to be reminded of regularly. When we’re busy, most of us do, because everything feels urgent. But is it?

Week three of my helping hiatus had a few hiccups, but isn’t that how we learn? The good news is, I experienced first hand, what saying NO allowed me to do. So, as I navigate week four of my helping hiatus I share what I did with that awareness, and I’ll tell you how to ASSESS your YES.

Watch the video below, or read the transcript that follows, and make time in your schedule for YOU.

Hey, Michelle Cederberg here, continuing my exploration of saying no, in what is now the fourth week of my helping hiatus. I have finished three weeks, and I’ll tell you that last week was a little harder because I was starting to feel guilty for saying no. Mostly because it felt selfish, and mostly because I don’t like letting people down.

But the truth is that, in saying no strategically, it freed me up to say yes to some things that I really wanted to do. One was to take an afternoon off on my birthday, with my husband to do some fun things (which I think people should do on their birthday). Another was that last week, I took Friday off to go snowboarding with my friend Carol, who was visiting from Toronto. In doing those two things, because I had been strategic with my yes, I didn’t get behind in things that were happening in my office. And wow, I had a day and a half of great fun.

I’m still thinking about the amazing Blue Bird day that I had on my snowboard last Friday. So, I thought I would share a little strategy that I’ve been using lately to help ASSESS the YES.

When somebody asks for your time outside of your job description, and perhaps voluntarily or whatever it might be, the first question you have to ask yourself is,

“Will this YES drive my personal professional goals forward?”

If the answer is yes, the next step is easy. Go for it! If the answer is no, the second question to ask yourself is,

“Is this something that I really want to do?”

If it’s not something you really want to do, then maybe you should say no, and it’s okay. We’ll talk about that in a moment. But if the answer is, ‘Yes, I really want to do this thing. Yes, it would really be fun!’ then give yourself the chance to say yes, even though it may not drive your goals forward.

Does snowboarding on a Friday drive my personal and professional goals forward? Not really. But it did give me a sense of fulfillment, and happiness, and fresh air, and time with my friend that really energized me coming back into the work the following week. Sometimes if it’s a heck yes, you should just say yes.

Let’s go back to NO once again. If the answer is, ‘No, I don’t want to do this, and no, I don’t think it would be that much fun,’ would it be the worst thing in the world if you said no? It’s okay to say no. I will say this again.

If helping someone else is hurting you, it’s not helping.

Get rid of the guilt. Find someone else who can help. Send them on their way. They will be fine.

Now, here’s another thing to think about. If you pause long enough to assess whether the ‘ask’ is something that you really want to do, you may decide, ‘Yes, I want to help,’ but then realize that your schedule is so busy that the yes would cause you stress. Just remember then that the no doesn’t have to be a hard stop. It can be ‘No, not right now’ or rather, ‘YES, and the next available spot I have in my schedule is two weeks from Thursday’.

By setting your schedule on your terms, you can make sure you’re not creating stress by saying yes, and if the person really values your time, they will wait. I want you to really think about that. Delay the yes so that you don’t cause yourself stress, because if helping someone else is hurting you, it’s not helping.

I’ll say it again, the biggest thing I’ve learned from the last week was that because I was strategic with what I said yes to, I was able to free up time to do things that I truly valued, that filled me up in ways that another day in the office might not have.

So food for thought. What do you need to say yes to? What do you need to say no to? Let’s set that guilt aside and be strategic with how we give away our time, energy, and expertise. Until next time, I’m Michelle Cederberg, reminding you that in order to Ignite High Performance, sometimes you have to ignite your own. Do what you need to do to take care of yourself with those strategic yeses.

I’m booking 2024 speaking engagements across North America RIGHT NOW – keynotes, workshops, even 1:1 coaching… If you’d like to chat about how to bring me in to your organization to help your team eliminate burnout, increase engagement, and ignite high performance, pop me an email at hello@michellecederberg.com. I’d love to chat.

In fact… I’ve got a NEW KEYNOTE and you can learn about it here: MichelleSPEAKS_2024

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1) Hey, I’m super excited to share a great product that I can’t wait for you all to see. It’s my new Success-Energy Equation mouse pad. Remember the equation? Some of you have seen it. Links to purchase are below. SO FUN!

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3) Buy my new book via my website and I’ll send you a signed copy!

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Michelle Cederberg, Health and Productivity Expert, MKin, BA Psyc, CEP, CPCC
Hall of Fame Speaker, CSP, Certified Coach & Best-Selling Author



Using science-based strategies to eliminate burnout, increase engagement, and ignite high performance


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