Derek Sivers woke us up nearly a decade ago with the revelation that decision-making can be a binary process:
“Use this rule if you’re often over-committed or too scattered.
If you’re not saying “HELL YEAH!” about something, say ‘no’.”
The concept here? It’s this: When you start saying “no” more, it frees time for those things that come along which make your spirit and your heart snap to attention and say, “hell yes.” (Think opportunities, clients, partnerships, ideas.)
Want to practice that with me today? C’mon. It’ll be fun.
Say no to something that’s less than “hell yes” today. (You can be SUPER nice about it.)
Something you might have automatically said “yes” to before today.
Just say no.
Trust that the space you’ve protected will be soon filled with a delicious “yes.”
In fact, I can suggest some small-bites actions you can use to fill that “no thanks” space:
- Two minutes: Contact a past client this morning, one that you really enjoyed working with. Ask how they’re doing. Don’t sell anything. Just be interested and caring and genuine. Send your positivity out there into the world, and release it without strings attached.
- Five minutes: Write down three things you’re grateful for today, and describe them (it makes them come to life in your brain). If you’re grateful for a new client you just got, describe what they do, the moment you first heard about them, how you felt, etc. Think of this as a beacon you’re sending out to the world: Thank you. I’m paying attention. More, please.
- Thirty minutes: Sift through things you’ve written or published recently (past year). Find something you feel really gave value to the people you most want to serve in this life. Wherever you published it, find a second place to publish it. If it’s a blog post, publish it to Facebook or Instagram. If it’s an article you wrote, take a piece of it and make an actionable blog post. If it’s a series of emails/posts/etc., ponder making it into an eBook or an online course. You don’t have to figure it all out…just think about it and plant the seed.
- One hour: Block out an hour on your calendar just for some joyful planning and daydreaming about your business. Brew your favorite beverage, find some music you love (without words), sit in your most comfortable spot. Make it a party just for you and your future.
- Your choice: Spend some time decluttering your email inbox. Wait — listen for a second. Maybe getting to zero inbox isn’t possible for you right now, but those emails that have been sitting in your inbox forever gathering dust? They are, in their tiny nagging way, pulling energy from you that you NEED for other, more useful tasks. If you can get rid of 50% of backlogged email, you will be amazed at how much lighter you feel. George Kao has a great article on how to approach this with joy: https://medium.com/@georgekao/a-system-for-email-productivity-cf6f959e0916
- Nothing at all: There’s no need to fill the space. (Just be clear, be compassionate, communicate, and trust.) But when was the last time you just did nothing? Quieting your mind, looking at a beautiful image or piece of art, walking slowly around the block and letting your mind stray wherever it wanted, unleashed? A favorite book for me to give me ideas is How to Be an Explorer of the World (or any book by Keri Smith…lovely stuff)
Life is too short to waste our time on things that don’t light us up.