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NEW! - Keywords For This Page:   Time Management - Boundaries - Stress

Blog: Making the most of your Time
Time to Say No

Often times I hear from clients and friends that they are tired of all the obligations they have to fulfill. After some probing about these commitments, I find that the obligations they have are a result of taking on too much and not setting some clear guidelines about what they can and cannot handle. That's understandable, most of us don't really know that we can handle until we've taken on too much.
Here's where the word No needs to become elevated in your thought process. Telling someone you cannot come to their party, lunch, work event, etc. because you are too busy, tired, stressed out, etc. doesn't seem to be a good enough reason these days. We are all expected to stretch ourselves thin and yet, it's one of the biggest complaints…there just aren't enough hours in the day.
Consider this blog to be your permission slip to stop this behavior and move a different direction. Now, I would be a total hypocrite if I said I'm never stretched thin and that I always have time to do everything – I'm a business owner, wife, mother, friend, work-out partner, volunteer and so on. I have however, become better at setting boundaries with clients, friends and business obligations. I discovered the word No. For example:
No, I cannot work Christmas Eve, but I can work January 3rd.
No, this business opportunity is incredibly interesting but I cannot devote the time needed to see it come to fruition.
No, I cannot attend the bake sale, but I can drop off cookies to be sold at the bake sale.
No, my company cannot advertise with you as we have already allocated our funds for that type of media.
These are all perfectly acceptable ways to say No, without sounding rude or unprofessional. I have used them all at one time or another and will continue to do so. Believe it or not, the more you say No, the more you become aware of when to say Yes. The key is to set your priorities for your personal life, work life and social life. If demands, requests and obligations are made that do not comply with your set priorities then it's easier to say No.
Take a few minutes to assess your priorities and start practicing the word No. You'll be amazed at how much more time you have to work on the things you want to do.

posted on: 12/19/2007 9:30:00 AM by Brita Bolane
category: Time Management

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Making the most of your Time

by Brita Bolane

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About Brita:

Brita Bolane is the President of pare it down, inc. a professional organizing service in the San Diego area. Brita helps people streamline their lives through residential organization and time management consultation. Brita's first introduction to time management was when she attended college on a full atheltic scholarship (volleyball). She went on to play professionally on the beach and in Italy. Today, Brita is a business owner, wife and mother and understands the challenges of keeping a busy schedule and an organized life.

Brita's Website:


Time Savers

  • evite
    If you don't have time to get traditional invitations out in the mail, this is a great resource for quick internet invitations. They also have information and suggestions on entertaining.
  • shutterfly
    Digital, it's the way to go. Sites like shutterfly help you organize and arrange photos without having to print them first. They offer free, unlimited photo storage and if you do want to print pictures, you can print them to your local Target store. In addition, you can create wonderful gifts for family and friends in a reasonable amount of time.
  • Sunday
    Sunday is a virtual assistant service. Depending on how busy your life is, this could be a useful service and a real time saver. I love the concept but have not tried it yet.

Resources for Life

  • Martha Stewart
    I am a long time fan of Martha Stewart. Her website, magazines and TV program offer so many different and fun ideas. It's inspirational on many levels.

Tasty Treats

  • TasteSpotting
    Interesting site that people can post food ideas and blogs, recipes or places to buy the best tasting treats. The pictures are mouth watering!

Technology to love

  • oovoo
    I'm a big fan of face to face or internet to internet phone calls. Our family does this and it's amazing how much more you get out of the call when you see the person you're talking to. oovoo is a free service you can download to your computer that let's you have video converstations.
  • skype
    skype is an internet based phone service that let's you call computer to computer for free! Who doesn't love to talk for free?!

Books I Love

  • The Success Principles
    Jack Canfield is the cocreator of the Chicken Soup for Soul series. This is his book on how to achieve your goals in an effective and measurable way. I really like this book
  • Getting Things Done The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
    Author David Allen provides a great approach to managing all your to do lists and how to focus on the most important tasks each day.
  • The 4-Hour Workweek
    Timothy Ferris writes a revolutionary book and makes you rethink how you use your time.

Related Products:

How To Plan For The Best Use Of Your Time

VibraLite Vibration Alarm Watch

BusyBody Grid Pad

Time Management Case Studies

Triple Bel Timer ™

Personal Organization

Balancing Work, Life, And Family

ILY Quartz Analog Alarm Clock

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