The single, hardest word for me to say for sooo long!
I’d tell myself that it was a sign of weakness, but I also knew it stemmed from loving anything new, FOMO, and a big dose of wanting to help thrown in for good measure. Great in theory - if time was endless and commitments few, but that’s certainly not the case, so it was a huge pain in the butt for a long time!
Really understanding why you find it hard to say no (or rather say yes too often) requires understanding that you believe or tell yourself in those moments. That can be hard to do on your own because our beliefs can often be well hidden from us.
But 3 things that I’ve found effective are:
💫PRIORITIES - know what your 3 top priorities are for the week/month/year (this has other benefits too in helping you focus and remain motivated). If you find yourself saying yes to something unconnected, stop, and check it against your priorities. If it’s not more important, it’s just going to slow you down, distract you (which may be your tactic anyway!), or have you burning the midnight oil again.
💫TIME BLOCK - maybe you think you have more time than you do? Or you think it won’t take as much time as they say? (always double the time anyone tells you something will take!) Or you don’t really know how much time you have! Time blocks of activities in your calendar help you get those priorities in, keeps you focused, and stops you thinking that your time is bottomless! Take your calendar & block time for work priorities, home and family priorities, wellbeing and rest. I do this every week and have never once thought ‘wow I’ve got loads of extra hours’! It’s a good way to get over any guilt niggles too.
💫PRACTICE - you may think it’s silly but listen to some of the least stressed people you know and learn! “Wow that sounds great, and I would love to, but I’m pretty full at the minute”. Whatever you do, do not say “Put some time in my diary” or “Send me more info”, when what you want to say is no. You are just prolonging the pain! Say no, and don’t apologise for it. You’ll gain more respect because it shows that you understand your priorities and are respecting your boundaries.
"Compassionate people ask for what they need. They say no when they need to, and when they yes, they mean it. They are compassionate because their boundaries keep them out of resentment" - Brene Brown