I spent years saying “yes” to things. Things I didn’t have time for. Things I wasn’t good at. Things I didn’t want to do. Things that weren’t even mine to do.
I didn’t think twice about it. If there was any way I could reasonably do something I was asked, I would. Even if it meant me rearranging my life, cancelling something else I wanted to do or sleeping less!
Is This You?
How often have you said “yes” to something you didn’t really want to do? Covering for someone at work. Going out when what you really needed was rest.
What Are You Saying Yes To?
Economists talk about ‘opportunity cost’. This is the idea that considers what you are missing out on by spending your money in the way you are. For example if you buy a latte everyday the ‘opportunity cost’ may be not being able to go away for that weekend you had in mind.
If you think about it, each time we say “Yes” there is also an opportunity cost. Time is finite. When we spend time doing something (whether consciously or not) we are choosing that thing over others we could be doing.
Isn’t this, in many ways, worse than a monetary ‘opportunity cost’? You can’t get more time after all.
We say yes all the time:
- Yes, I’ll take on that extra project
- Yes, I’ll working late to get this done for you
- Yes, I’ll talk to you about those problems you’re having with your boyfriend
- Yes, I’ll bake a cake for that
What Are You Saying No To?
It’t not bad to say yes. It’s one of the best ways of grabbing great opportunities (wasn’t there a whole movie made about that!).
However, each time we do I feel it should be a conscious decision. Is it really a priority to us in this moment? Is it where we choose to spend our time? Are we making a conscious decision as to how to spend our valuable resource, time?
For example if you say yes to staying late at work what are you saying no to?
- time with your family and friends
- time to rest and relax
- time to finally take up that Spanish class
I still believe in helping others
Just no longer at the expense of me.
I don’t always get this right. It is a constant battle. Every time I catch myself saying yes I try to think about what I’m saying no to. But being conscious of it is half the battle, right?
Take a minute to think….
When You Say Yes What Are You Saying No To?
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