Say no and own your time

Chances are, sometimes you say yes to things you do not want to do, or at least should not do. Was it saying yes to meeting someone for a coffee when you had an essay due the next day? Or was it going to a party with people you did not really like? Do you remember the last time that either of these happened and what resulted from it? Most likely nothing, or at least nothing good.

It is strange to think how difficult it has become to say no nowadays. As if our relationships and our life depended on that one thing we better say yes to. But have you ever thought about what was happening in the parallel universe in which you said no? What if your relationships were strengthened by this attitude and you had come a long way, managing to do everything on time and finally getting that worry-free quality time afterwards?

Welcome, to the power of no.

Improve your relationships

“No legacy is so rich as honesty.” – William Shakespeare

The first thing to accept is that honesty is always the better option. If you feel like you had to say yes to going out with someone, you will be wasting both this person’s time and yours. Do not do that and blame them afterwards for taking your time. Ask yourself, is that what you want your relationships with other people to be? Do not be remembered for being that person, be remembered for being honest and knowing when to say no.

“Don’t be always available for someone or else you will lose your importance…” – Shiv

Not seeing someone too often – read: when we actually want to – is key to keeping a healthy relationship. Take control of your availability. Your friends will start thinking of you, not as somebody always available and keen, but as somebody with a life going on.

By saying yes, you transformed your relationships into forced, unpleasant and dishonest ones. Be honest and say no. Avoid wasting your time and improve your relationships.

Get your time back

“Time is the most valuable currency so spend it wisely.” – Debasish Mridha

You obviously cannot get your time back. You can get it under control though. In fact, it already is within your control. You control all of your time, all the time. Do not relinquish control over your time to others, for your time is your most precious currency and unlike everything else, you cannot make more of it.

Add up all the little periods of time you wasted this week. How much is it worth at the end of the week? Are you claiming you do not have enough time to do something you really want to or have to do?

Focus on who and what matters

“You are the average of the five people you most associate with.” – Tim Ferriss

Do you have relationships you entertain but do not really enjoy? Steer clear of undesirable people who consume your time, thus your life. Tim Ferriss explains it in his book “The 4-Hour Work Week” by saying that you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Think about this. The average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Does every relationship you keep uplift you? Or does it take you down or make you worry in countless episodes of drama?

By “filtering out” bad and toxic relationships, not only you will get more time but you will be happier. More worry-free, you will now have the time to focus on what is in front of you, the now. Not while feeling bad for an unnecessarily manufactured drama, but while feeling free in your mind, of all the distractions that these relationships brought to your life.

Own your life

Read our article on how to own each day by learning how to wake up.

We are under the illusion that we do not control the use of our time, that we can allow other people to take this from us. But if anything, we only have time.

“It is not that we have a short space of time, but that we waste much of it.” – Seneca

Admit to yourself that you are responsible for how you spend your time and realise what you could do with it all if you finally assumed full control of it.

Improve your life, your productiveness and your relationships by learning to say no. Do not be rude, but try a casual “No sorry I can’t today”. It is up to every one of us to decide: What will I do today? Will I spend most of my time doing something I do not like or will I start taking responsibility and move my life forward?

I can only recommend that you look into the book The Power of No: Because One Little Word Can Bring Health, Abundance, and Happiness by James Altucher.


What is the last thing you said yes to?

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