Monday, November 16, 2009

Not Enough Hours In The Day- Part 2

This is part two from yesterday's post.  We were talking about recognizing where we are before we can consider an effective change when we are trying to do too much.

OK, I am going to use a simple, silly, personal example to illustrate this.  Most, if not all, of you are not aware that I am an imperfect speller.  If I did not recognize this and/or did not want to make a shift, my writings would be full of misspelled words.  I would not use spell-check and I would not use a dictionary when writing for you.  Furthermore, I would not even pay attention to the words I misspell repeatedly, to try and remember the spelling next time.  Does this make sense?  I accept that my spelling ability is weak and I choose to make a shift.  In my example, the shift is then made by using additional tools as well as my mental memory to learn from my mistakes.

Getting back to shifting to, enough hours.  Let me give you one cool tool I employed many years ago: (repeat after me), "I'll think about it."  It is that simple.  This is the problem I had in doing too much: If someone asked me if I would do something, I barely considered it and said, "yes," as it seemed like a small request and I wanted to be helpful.  At the time, I was a single parent who was working and going to school.  I had also decided I was 'supposed to' volunteer in the children's schools.  Oh, I also had my art studio which I was working in part time.  It was insanity, at best.  To use this tool properly, I had to employ it in all situations: "Julie can you work an extra shift this weekend?" or "Mom, can we stop at the video store, tonight" or "Julie, can you bake some cupcakes for next week's party?"  "Julie can you watch my dog this week?"  Even if I thought I already knew the answer, I would say, "I'll think about it," and give the asker a time that I would get back to them with my answer.  Then I would be able to take a moment to realistically see if this was something I ought to do.  This kept me from either always saying, "yes" or swinging the other way and always saying, "no."  Sometimes "yes' is appropriate and sometimes "no' is appropriate.  If we let the mind give the knee-jerk answer, the response will almost always be the wrong one.  That's another way the mind messes with us, by the way.

Part 3 of this topic shows one way to say "no" with style: Not Enough Hours, Part 3

Please click 'comments' below to post your thoughts.


  1. Wow! Brilliant! And I couldn't agree more! Learning to say 'No' and 'maybe' have helped me immensely. I've also definitely learned about prioritizing and how one shouldn't spend too much time thinking about what needs to get done if it can't yet be accomplished. Do one thing at a time, mindfully, and know that it will all get done in time. Slow and Easy wins the race!

  2. faunawolf-

    Thank-you for the reminder: "Do one thing at a time, mindfully...." Perfect! I find it is the mindfully part that is the easiest for me to forget. This takes continual practice...and then more practice.

    Great comments, thanks!

  3. I like that... "I'll think about it." First I said "yes" all the time, until I realized how self-destructive that could be. Then, I got good at saying "no" and find that I sometimes wish I'd given the matter more consideration.

    So, now it will be "I'll think about it." Great stuff.

    I've also employed "Do one thing at a time (or focus on one PERSON at a time) and do it mindfully." Sometimes people get frustrated I won't "jump to it" but I just remind them that they will have 100% of my attention when I'm able to give it.

  4. Ryan-

    You have made a great point! Taking the opposite stance of "no" all of the time can be equally limiting.

    I also like what you said about communicating what you are and are not able to do. As in, I am not available right now, but you "will have 100% of my attention when I am able to give it."

    Excellent reminders about staying present and true to one's Self.



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