Our world is becoming more competitive and an overstimulating place to live. We need to concentrate and make more space just to stay focused on completing our daily tasks.
Because of the explosion of smartphones, we are more accessible to more people than ever.
It seems everyone wants a piece of you.
Your kids want rides somewhere. Your colleagues want your input on projects. Your child’s school wants you to volunteer for their next event. Your mother wants you to come over and fix her faucet.
Plus, countless marketers want you to subscribe to a new magazine or get their new credit card. Even your pets are competing for your attention.
We are suffering under productivity and project overload. We keep taking on more than we can deliver so that we can get ahead, impress others, and meet others’ expectations. Meanwhile, our top goals and priorities go unaddressed.
To succeed at establishing flow in your business, you will have to get good at saying no to the people and distractions that consume your time. Successful people are pros at saying no without feeling guilty. If saying no is so important, then why is It so hard to say?
Why do we find it so
hard to say no to everybody’s requests?
As children, we learned that no was an unacceptable answer and were disciplined if we responded with a NO. When we started working in an office, saying no may have led to a poor evaluation or affected our move up the corporate ladder.
Yet successful people say no all the time, to crazy deadlines, to misaligned priorities, to projects, and to drama and other people’s crises. In fact, they view the decision to say no as equally acceptable as the decision to say yes.
We say no but will offer to refer you to someone else for help. Some of us decline requests and blame our available time, family obligations, deadlines, and even finances as our reasons for saying no.
Don’t just delegate, eliminate! If we are going to increase our income and elevate the success in our life, we are going to have to eliminate pointless requests, tasks and other time-suckers that don’t have a high return on investment.
We will have to structure our work so that we are focusing our time, energies and resources only on opportunities, people and projects that give us the greatest reward for our efforts. We are going to have to establish strong boundaries about what we will and won’t do with consistency.
Start now by creating a “stop doing” list. Most of us are busy but undisciplined. We are taking action but not focused. We are moving, but not in the right direction. By creating a stop-doing list (and a to-do list) you instantly gain more discipline and focus in your life.
Start by creating a stop-doing list today. Then make the highest priorities on your list “policies.” People respond to policies. A policy is perceived as a boundary. They will respect you more for being clear about what you won’t do.
For example, some of my “don’t do” policies are:
- I no longer coach novice entrepreneurs. Their learning curve is too time-consuming and expensive.
- I don’t schedule more than five VIP clients in one month.
- I don’t take any calls on Monday’s and Friday’s. Those are writing and product development days.
- I don’t work with unmotivated people that make excuses for their inadequacies.
What are some of your policies? How are you going to implement them?