Work-Life Balance and Saying NO
Many people assume that there’s no such thing as Work-Life Balance because there’s simply too much going on in life and the big world.
For me, I say, make your focus smaller.
Sure, you can’t create a work-life balance totally for a year…but you can create balance for a day or an afternoon.
The truth is that it’s the sum of your daily, minute decisions that produce work-life balance.
To me, a decision’s smallest dissection is a YES or a NO. My husband always says that a maybe means NO. He’s a rebel, a hard worker, and does what he wants. I’m an obliger, a hard worker, and I try to please everyone. He’s teaching me that Maybe means NO is very freeing to me.
So, we’ve got our YES or NO.
To achieve a work-life balance, you have to say NO more.
And, your answer can’t be a weak one that takes a while to come out of you. You can’t overthink it. The YES or NO has to be a gut reaction at the instant. When you hesitate…
“Hey, Janet, can you take the afternoon off and take me out on errands to get my hair done and get my oil changed?”
“No.” [Period. Conversation over.]
“Maybe.” [They will keep on pushing until you give up and say yes.]
“Yes.” [OK if that’s your mom. Not OK if it’s an acquaintance’s mom.]
The appeal is that if you say NO first, you can change your mind and say YES after considering more about it. However, if you answer YES first, it’s tough to switch your mind and say NO because the other person relies on you.
Better to have the gut reaction NO for specific people and situations.
Did you see my free priorities tool? If you haven’t downloaded it yet, I highly suggest that you do. This tool will help you learn who to say YES and NO to on the spot.
Some people might dispute, “Janet, saying no to people who need you is mean. It’s rude and selfish.”
“I maintain that you must take care of your priorities first. Make sure your house is in order. Then, help people. In fact, the better your house is in order, the better capable you are of helping (and inspiring) others.”
So, you want to achieve a work-life balance? Say NO more often to say YES to what matters most to you. Remember, download that priorities tool if you haven’t done it already.
Janet Johnson is a small business advisor and author of My Money Pivot: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Finding & Making More Money and this educational blog. All views expressed belong solely to Ms. Johnson and do not represent the views of her employer.