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Too many to-dos… Not enough time…Cause or Symptom?

My friend Amy calls herself lazy as she is always running behind her infinitely long to-dos. Even when she is sitting down she feels guilty that she was supposed to do something useful.  She says sorry a zillion times as she frequently cancels our coffee/phone chats at the last moment.

Seeing her hyperactivity makes me feel underperformed:). I have been wondering why is that we are always behind despite all the hard work? Why she feels compelled to say “Yes” to every request? Recently found some answer from this article. Saying “Yes”

1. Avoids conflicts

2. Takes less time than pausing to decide whether or not the request is truly important

3. Feels right as many of us have become addicted to the speed of our lives. We mistake activity for productivity, more for better.

Saying “No” would require us to know what our priorities are. Sad truth is many times we don’t know our priorities.  I remember when I was bored with my work (not seeing how my presence was making any difference) I used to sign up for too many things so I don’t have to face the hard truth that I need to figure out my purpose- it was too scary! As long as I was “needed” it justified my being.

In the same article Tony Schwartz also mentioned,

Making these choices requires that we regularly step back from the maddening crowd. It’s only when we pause — when we say no to the next urgent demand or seductive source of instant gratification — that we give ourselves the space to reflect on, metabolize, assess, and make sense of what we’ve just experienced.

Sometimes we are afraid that saying “No” is rude, it would hurt others’ feelings. But what we are unaware is, there are more powerful choices than being the prisoner of “Yes”. When you know what you care in the end you can always be honest and creative. Next time before rushing to say Yes, take a breath and Ask yourself: How can I honor my plans (assume you have one:)) and at the same time keep a great relationship with the people I care?

PS: If you don’t have a plan or are not sure about your priorities, lets talk!

Reference: “No” is the New “Yes”:  Four Practices to Reprioritize Your Life

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