Wouldn’t it be nice to go through your day feeling relaxed and productive instead of stressed and scattered? Sometimes the secret is just to say no a few things, and let the more important items move ahead of all the rest.
Here’s a trick to knowing what’s really important. Ask yourself one simple question: Is it a Hell Yes? If you can’t say that it’s a Hell Yes for you, then don’t waste time weighing your options. Just say no and move on. Use these six tips below to help you make better use of your time.
1. Identify your big Hell Yes for the day. What’s the one most important thing you need to do today? It could be a project that will take most of the day, like that big presentation for next week. Or it could be one quick but crucial item, like making a doctor’s appointment to get a lump checked out. Get that one Hell Yes out of the way as early in the day as possible.
2. Don’t let yes be your default answer. For many of us, our automatic response to any request is a yes. Retrain yourself to pause a moment before you commit, and ask yourself that one simple question: Is it a Hell Yes? If not, then let your answer be Hell No. That question acts as a razor to cut away everything in the gray area.
3. If it’s not a Hell Yes, you don’t have to figure out what else it is. If an opportunity doesn’t light up for you as a Hell Yes, don’t spin your wheels trying to figure out all the pros and cons of the maybes. Say Hell No and move on.
4. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you’ll be less busy later. Have you ever said yes to something weeks or months away, because you somehow believed you’d be less busy by that distant date? You weren’t, were you? If it’s not a Hell Yes now, it’s probably not going to become one down the road.
5. Build empty chunks into your calendar. If every day is scheduled to the gills, you won’t have time to deal with the things that unexpectedly come up. And something always comes up. Whether it’s a disaster you need to avert or an opportunity you want to pursue, you’ll be better able to respond if you give yourself that flexibility in your schedule.
6. Cancel something on your calendar. Feeling stressed by everything you have to do? Overwhelmed by a schedule that’s a little too full? Pick up the phone and cancel one or two things. Maybe the people you cancel on will appreciate a little space in their calendars as well.