The Power of “No”

Time, to me, is synonymous with currency—it’s a valuable resource that should be approached with mindfulness and intention.

I had never thought of time as currency until I started college.

Having played competitive sports and participated in multiple extracurriculars during my youth and adolescence, being over-scheduled felt natural to me.

When I started college, I kept doing what I needed to do…going to class, maintaining my grades, keeping a good reputation at work, remaining consistent with my other part-time jobs, being present in my extracirriculars, and participating in my familial and interpersonal relationships.

In retrospection, I refer to that as “survival” mode.

Since I have started my self-work project I have learned the importance of boundaries (as mentioned in a previous post) and being strict about who and what gets my time.

How did that happen?

I practiced, and became more comfortable with, saying NO.

Here are a few things that have helped me say NO:

  1. Make the distinction between priorities (school, work, etc.) and non-priorities (running errands, cleaning, etc.)
  2. Determine what you want to prioritize outside of your priorities (mine are rest, self-care, and spending time with loved ones)
  3. Think of an ideal week…what does it consist of? Plan from there.
  4. Realize that saying no, respectfully, won’t be the end of the world.
  5. Understand that you have every right to dictate who and what gets your time…it is your life and your energy.

Learning, practicing, and becoming more comfortable with how to say no can be an absolute game-changer.

Remember…you are in control.

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