From the moment your eyes open come Monday morning until they lay to rest on Sunday night it’s common that in between the work-week, family, obligations and other social outings, you are exhausted, drained and have nothing more to give. In a society where we have been conditioned to think more is more, overcommit ourselves and keep our calendars full, 2022 is the year to embrace “No is the new Yes.” As pointed out in the article published by Forbes magazine earlier this year, we’ve lived through a couple of years of constant change, upheaval, uncertainty, stress and challenge.  You have the power to take control and design the life you want, here are tips to scale back on our busy lives this year:
1. Don’t prioritize your schedule, schedule your priorities.
Often the calendar during the week is filled with work hours, meetings, dinner reservations and other social obligations that there is little room for you. You may look at your calendar and think you don’t have time to get a sweat in, finish the home project you’ve put off for weeks on end or sit down to enjoy an uninterrupted family meal with your loved ones. Much like you do business meetings, schedule your calendar with what is important to you, what is a priority, what it is you want to do with your time.
2. Put your needs first, don’t worry about what others think.
How often do you get asked to a dinner you didn’t enjoy? A gathering that left you wishing you were elsewhere? An event that you should have never said yes to? Spend your time and energy on the things that bring you joy, fulfillment and worth it. Forget about what everyone else thinks and do what makes you happy. You’re bound to disappoint a person or two, but ask yourself how often do they put your needs ahead of theirs? So why should you?
3. Create more live-work balance.
With many working remotely the separation of work and personal has blended into a dark gray area. Easy to open your laptop when watching the latest episode of Ozark, checking your emails while sitting at a nice restaurant, busy worrying about the upcoming board meeting while watching your child play a sport or late skipping that gym workout so that you can get through your workload. When you’re working- work, but when it’s your YOU time, step away from WORK!
The happiest people in life are those who give their full attention to what it is they’re doing. Ever hear the words “be present” well there is a lot of truth to it, give your fullest attention to what you’re doing at that moment. Work to live, don’t live to work. No one is going to stand at your funeral and praise you for the number of hours that you spent at the office, they are going to remember the times they spent with you, the memories created, the laughter you shared.
4. Be okay with your perfectly imperfect self.
Perfection is an illusion that has been ingrained into our brains. Trying to be the perfect person is time consuming, exhausting and overrated. Be okay with your perfectly imperfect self. There are unlimited pressures in life to be your best, always show up in your finest manner, to never fail. Constantly striving for success and excellence stands in the way from your ability to live, to embrace failure, to remind yourself you’re human. Giving it your all is enough, but know when to walk away and put your vitality to better, more fulfilling use.
5. Refrain from impulsively saying yes.
Ever guilty of committing self to plans on the spot? Worried that if you don’t accept the invite you’ll offend someone? Or worse, never be invited again? With technology at our fingertips we’re expected to open our calendars and schedule in plans without getting the opportunity to mull it over, decide if you want to actually do it, to say no. Learn to scale back, to ask for time to think about it. Best advice given, stop using your calendar on your phone and go old school with a paper one. Allows you a quick out, gives you opportunity to decide if you want to say yes or prefer to decline. Embrace saying no, it can save you from feeling spread thin.
6. Weigh the benefits of saying yes to sacrifice.
Every yes comes at a cost. There is work, social and sleep. If you’re working and socializing too much then sleep has to give. If you’re working and sleeping too many hours then you’re not socializing enough. You get the idea. Look at what has to give in order for you to say yes, and then ask yourself if it’s worth it. Sounds simple, but many times power falls by the waist side and we find ourselves in situations we wish we weren’t in. With a little practice it definitely gets easier.
With these tips you’ll thank yourself for saying no more, so that you get more out of life and scale back feeling busy, overwhelmed and tired from constantly being on the go. Give it a try.