Declining to be more busy than I am is something that I struggle with. If you have been reading along, you know my family has been busy with a home reno. We have been putting in a basement which ended up – as many home renos do, including lots of other things that need to be done as well. As an example, we needed a bigger electrical panel as the existing one wasn’t going to be sufficient with added square footage. We also had asbestos in the drywall (it is in the mud / compound) so we had to have this removed before certain other steps could happen. So one thing leads to another, right? My point is, it has dragged on.
Then I am busy with the normal stuff I have going on, work, kids, kids in hockey, their school work (not recently obviously, but the reno has been happening since January), our business bookkeeping, my artwork, writing, my position on a board of directors. So I definitely feel ‘busy.’
I have learned though, that people will see if you could take on more, volunteer for something else and that being over-the-top-busy seems to be the only accepted excuse for declining. The one other reason that is accepted if you are medically unwell or something. Being super busy seems to be the norm too. To always do more, to be at the point of burn out.
I have been listening to a podcast by Robin Sharma – Mastery Sessions, and I also read his book, the 5am Club, and he emphasizes the importance of rest and recovery to maximize the impact of your time spent working. The value of preserving your mental state is key to doing good work. Learning to say no is something I have to get better at. I am learning my limit now after learning the hard way in some instances (agreeing to be the hockey team manager while working full time and studying for a work course and exam was a very bad idea, especially as I knew almost nothing about hockey at the time and didn’t realize I had to schedule games for the team. I still get twitchy thinking back on that time).
I definitely like my time at home and get very protective of my plans to not do anything. So I may tell you I am busy, yes. It may be that I am too busy taking time for myself, or too busy having a nap. Too busy staring at my new garden at how the sunlight shines down and touches different surfaces. It is all about mental health preservation. I want to enjoy my family and pursue goals that I want to accomplish. Most of all, I want to enjoy my moments, not have them rush by. How do you say no and combat the requests for your time? Please share! xo