“Do not forget, you can be a good person with a kind heart, and still say NO.”

~ unknown

This month, I’m stepping outside my comfort zone with a self-care experiment that feels awkward, uncomfortable, and even mean.

I’m saying NO. I’m saying NO… to any request of my time that’s not directly connected to my own personal or professional goals. I’m saying NO to freely giving my time to others at the expense of my own to-dos. I’m saying NO to helping others… and that’s so far from who I am that it feels awful to even type it. But it’s necessary. For awhile anyway.

I’m not exactly comfortable with it yet, and I’m curious what you think about this plan of mine.

Watch the video below, or read the transcript that follows, where I explain WHY I’m doing this. Then cast your vote… am I being smart or selfish?

Hey Michelle Cederberg here, contemplating productivity and time management, and in this case it’s my own.

I don’t know if you can relate to this, but we’re heading into Q2 of 2024, and all the goals and plans that I kicked into gear at the beginning of the year haven’t progressed as well as I hoped that they would… despite the fact that I am ridiculously busy. So it caused me to take pause, and ask myself, “Where am I giving away my time, and am I giving it away effectively?”

I don’t 100% have the answer to that. I’m a caregiver and an educator and a helper at heart, so when people ask for my time, my default is typically to say YES, and sometimes that can be to the detriment of my own to-do list.

I always think that it’s a wonderful thing to give of yourself when you can, but I also believe that if helping someone else is hurting you, it’s not helping (read that again and let it sink in).

So, I have decided to use myself as a guinea pig for the month of April, and potentially into May, to do what I’m going to call a ‘Helping Hiatus’… and I can’t even tell you how hard it is for me to say that, but it’s just as it sounds. Through the month of April, I’m not going to say yes to anybody who asks for my help.

I’m sorry… but I’m not sorry.

If you’re already on my schedule I’ll keep you there, but I do need to practice focusing on the things that are going to drive my business forward in a reasonable way. I also need to increase awareness around the things that I’m saying yes and no to, and WHY.

I’m going to explore this topic in various ways through the month of April, in my weekly messages yes, but also on my YouTube channel through a series of Shorts. I’m going to talk about what I call ‘productivity hangover’. I’m going to talk about the tendency to please people. I’m going to talk about how to say no effectively, how to help yourself understand that saying no doesn’t mean forever. It can simply mean that you’re going to pause in the assistance that you provide…for now. Every good pause is an opportunity for to reflect, to assess priorities, and to determine what success looks like once we resume helping.

So there’s all sorts of fun in this for me, but there’s also a little bit guilt because I am, as I said, a caregiver at heart. I’m hoping that you will understand if I say no if you ask me for my time.

I’m not going to call it selfish, I’m going to call it selfcare, because I don’t think that any of us should feel guilty for prioritizing our own needs. I have some really great projects that I’m excited to move forward. Additionally, after five years of service on my speaking association’s national board, including as national president, and past president, and some busy roles, I think it’s okay for me to take a little bit of break from service and focus on myself.

And so I am doing that… and calling it a ‘helping hiatus’.

Still feels awful for me to say that, but I’m going to work on why that is, and get back to you with some of the learnings. Maybe you want to experiment with your own helping hiatus. If you do, please let me know how it goes.

Until next time I’m Michelle Cederberg reminding you that in order to Ignite High Performance sometimes we need to step back and reassess what success looks like for us in all the things that we’re doing.

My to-do lists are freaking endless, and I’m not going to get through them unless I prioritize them. So let’s see how this goes. ‘Helping Hiatus’ has now been deployed.

I’m booking 2024 speaking engagements across North America RIGHT NOW. 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

Don’t forget to join me on my social channels below.

Resources Galore!

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!

Buy single mousepad
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2) Don’t forget to check out my new ‘What’s Your Motivation Type?’ QUIZ!  Click the link and answer 5 quick questions to identify your Motivation Type. It’s going to give you daily doses of inspiration based on your category, and you’ll get all sorts of resources along the way.

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

4) Sign up for my socials below, because there’s all sorts of interesting stuff coming down the pipe.



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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