Why Saying “No” Is Important
Maybe that’s why I’m constantly on overdrive. Last week I not only worked my full-time job but I attended and volunteered at the Ladies Who Launch Leading Lady Awards in Denver on Thursday (afterward I headed back into the office to finish the workday). I continued on my sixth day of work, Saturday morning starting at 7:45 AM as a photographer’s assistant for a friend that needed help with a photo shoot. This was my second Saturday in a row working with her.
I’m not the exception, we’re all busy but reflecting on my life, my friends look at me like I’m crazy. I frequently have to say, “Sorry, I can’t make dinner,” as they all comfortably sit down together to a home cooked meal and relax mid-week. I’m volunteering, catching up on e-mails, putting contacts in touch with my contacts, being a photographer’s assistant, helping Ladies Who Launch, teaching someone how to start a blog, staying on top of my blog and oh right, working at my full-time job.
Prioritizing to Decrease Your Stress Level
Caitlin McCabe talks about learning When To Do Things for Free and When Not To. She includes a fantastic list of when to do things for free and when to charge. I commiserate with her. I usually say yes to every guest blog post, every event, volunteer opportunity and whenever someone asks for help (professionally and personally). It’s not as though I forget my worth or value but I think I can be superwoman and help everyone.
But I can’t.
I know I’m strong. I know I do more than most of the people around me, but there comes a breaking point. If I begin to sacrifice my personal well-being and spread myself thin over twenty projects versus managing myself properly and working on four meaningful projects, I think I should step back and find the risk vs. reward.
Slowly but surely I have begun to say, “No.” It feels really good. It feels really honest.
Just last week a friend at a startup asked me to help rewrite a press release for their team. They budgeted compensation and at first, I said, “Of course, I would be happy to help.” Then (I should have done this prior) I took a look at my schedule and priorities and realized I didn’t have the resources or time to complete the project. I got back to them and apologized that I had to turn down their offer. I wanted to be fair with not only my time, but their own.
Deep breath. Baby steps. I was being honest and in doing so, I set myself free.