The Best Time Management Tool

by Mark Forster

This chapter is a free excerpt from The Pathway to Awesomeness.

March 22, 2007

What do you think is the best time management tool? One which can free up acres of time for you to use as you like . . . one which can reduce the pressure on you . . . one which very few people use effectively?

There’s no doubt about the answer in my mind. It’s the ability to say “NO.”


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March 22, 2007

What do you think is the best time management tool? One which can free up acres of time for you to use as you like . . . one which can reduce the pressure on you . . . one which very few people use effectively?

There’s no doubt about the answer in my mind. It’s the ability to say “NO.”

Most of us take on far too many things, and then we wonder why our lives are filled with rush from one day to another. We can’t say no to our boss, we can’t say no to our friends, we can’t say no to our family, and worst of all we can’t say no to ourselves!

The problem is that our natural tendency is to say “yes” because we want to please. We then usually spend a lot of time regretting taking on yet another thing.

So why don’t we try reversing this and make it our natural tendency to say “no” to any request. If someone asks you to do something make it your first reaction to say “NO.” If you then decide you really would like to do it that’s fine, but the important thing is to get out of the habit of saying “yes” before you are really sure you want to do it.

You can make a game of this. See how many “no’s” you can collect during a day. And don’t forget to include yourself among the people you say “no” to!

When you say “no” it is best not to offer any excuse for doing so. Otherwise you will simply find that you end up defending your excuse, and when it’s been demolished it is then even more difficult to say “no.” Just make a firm statement along the lines of: “I’m sorry, I’d like to help but I can’t fit that into my priorities at the moment.” And if you are challenged further, just repeat it.

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