The idea of actually pausing before immediately saying “yes” is something that is near and dear to my heart. It’s something that was very difficult for me to even consider as an option for a very long time, but burnout is a real thing, and I had reached the point where I was fried to a crisp. Something had to change! There are now three important questions I have to consider if I want to avoid reaching that point of burnout again.
Full disclosure: These questions are still hard for me! I want to help all the people, do All The Things, and make everyone happy. If any of that resonates with you, please know that I feel this so deeply. My prayer is that these questions are going to save you a lot of heartache.
Question #1: Do I have enough time?
This sounds like a no-brainer, but it requires that you take a moment and really be honest with yourself! Have you ever caught yourself saying, “Yeah, I can totally squeeze that in!” Or maybe it was, “I’m sure I can get that done.” But did you actually take a hot second to see where this task or appointment would fit on your schedule?
If you’ve gone through my Overcome the Overwhelm training, you know this is a crucial part of the process. You do a huge brain dump, sort and prioritize everything, and then find every single thing a place where it can live on your calendar! This last piece requires honesty with yourself and an awareness of your own personal capacity.
Question #2: Does this align with my priorities, values, and goals? (Do I want to?)
Is someone asking something of you that doesn’t align at all with what you want or the direction you’re headed? It doesn’t have to be something that helps you reach your personal goals, but maybe one of your values is serving others. Does this task fall within that category? Just make sure the things you’re filling your time with aren’t taking away from the person you want to be.
Question #3: If I say yes to this, what am I saying no to?
If you answer the first question of, “Do I have enough time for this?” and the answer is, “No, but I really want to do it,” then there’s a decision to be made! What will you say no to in order to make time and space for this new thing you want to add to your schedule? This is not a bad thing to do – it’s just a reality to be dealt with.
I’m the absolute worst at saying no to sleep when I want to say yes to something else! It doesn’t typically turn out well for me, so I’m learning that sleep isn’t something I need to say no to if I want to make space for something else. So there’s that question again… What will I say no to if I say yes to this?
It’s so important to note that the results of your choices don’t have to be thought of as “consequences” or “rewards.” You make the best choices for your life with the information that you have, and no one else can make these choices for you. There are always lessons to be learned along the way. There is no perfect answer here – only the process!
Time to Take Action
Try to honestly ask all three questions when you’re trying to decide if you should say yes to something! Once you know the answers to each of these, you will have a clearer understanding of what tasks and events need to land on your plate and which ones you need to say no to.
One additional note here – my “no” means someone else gets the opportunity to say “yes.” Nobody wants to be that kid in class who always raises their hand to answer the question. If you’re constantly raising your hand and saying “yes,” no one else has that opportunity.
You might still be struggling to answer one or more of these questions about something in your life, and I want you to know that there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s not always clear which path forward is the next best step, and we can’t always work it out on our own.
Getting together in a life coaching session is a great way to bust through the confusion and create a game plan that will move you forward with confidence! You can sign up for a time that works for you and read more about what’s included HERE.
You don’t have to do it all alone, and I would be honored to help you determine which things on your plate most deserve your time and attention.