Just Say No (thank you)
I love saying yes. I love getting involved, doing a good job, making connections, and being recognized for my work. I often equate my productivity and success to my identity and self worth. This is the 100% perfectionist mentality that the 51% is the medicine for.
I was recently asked to be president of something at my sons’ school. The word president just puts the dopamine in my brain into high gear. I love helping at the school and I want to be the superhero and save the day and feel the good feels that come after such success. The problem is I do not have time for it right now. I have to slow down and stop my ego from making the decision to do something that is going to add stress and take away from the things I am currently focusing on.
I have to look at the pie chart that is my life and fill it up to a place I can handle. If I am at 100% all the time with obligations and activities, I have no room for myself or my family or to just enjoy the moments. I have to find the percentage that I can handle and still feel productive, but also doesn’t make me stressed out and miserable.
When I spend 10% of my time helping my kids with school stuff, 20% at my therapy position, 15% at my tutoring position, 5% as President of my HOA, 5% paying bills and paperwork, 25% taking care of the house and feeding everyone, what is left…20%. That means without including many other 1% things that come up each week I only have 20% (or less) to spend quality time with my kids, do the things I enjoy like reading, work out, spend quality time with my husband, and possibly spend time with friends. If I fill up that last 25% with obligations I’m not only stealing those moments from myself I’m stealing them from friends, family, and my health.
When you decide to do something, don’t listen to your ego. Do the math and figure out how much of yourself is left at the end of the day. If you have the bandwidth? Great. If you don’t? Say No thank you. Or say not right now, and if it’s important, then maybe you can change some things and make the room. There is a season for everything. Maybe when both my kids are in school and I’m not driving back and forth all day, then I will have that extra 5% I need to support the school the way I want to.
Remember the 51% is about finding that pocket. Sometimes, learning to say no is the small change you need to find it.
Make it small-