How saying "no" can help you be more productive

Ever heard the saying “You have as many hours in a day as BeyoncĂ©?” Well, when women are juggling a million things, sometimes it’s just about making it through the day rather than managing your time productively. 

And here’s the thing: you can’t do it all. (Sorry!) Not everything can be a priority. 

Here are some tips and tricks—courtesy of Professor Maja—to fit everything into your day and get the results you want.

Lighten the load
  • Be accountable for your time. Where is your time going? Try the following:
  • Outsource as much as you can.
  • Have a real partner (i.e. someone who wants you to succeed as much as you do) and have a real discussion about what needs to get done and who is doing what.
  • Learn to live with the messiness of life. This means not freaking out over dirty dishes in the sink or dust on the floor.

Time block
This is essential for productivity. We’re bombarded with hundreds of distractions every day. All of those distractions are multi-tasking, and multi-tasking increases the stress hormone cortisol in your brain. 

A few tips:
  • Figure out when you feel the most productive. Are you a morning person or a night owl?
  • Download MOMENTS app; this amazing app is free and it keeps track of how long you use your phone and what app you frequent. It will also tell you how many times you pick up your phone. 
  • Create a priorty list instead of a to-do list. A priority list is a short list of things that moves you closer to your vision for your life. It’s not grocery shopping or picking up the dry cleaning. 

Say ‘no’
Many women are bombarded with the culturally ingrained idea that women must be caregivers, nurturers and people-pleasers or else people won’t like us. We’re told to just get along, play nice and play by the rules. 

The next time someone asks you for something and you’re feeling like a people-pleaser:
Don’t commit to anything on the spot. Tell them you’ll think about it and get back to them.
Then, immediately think of these three things: do you have the time, energy and resources? You can say no. It’s wonderful—just try it!

Overcome the ‘I can’t’
Excuses equal resistance, and resistance is basically procrastination. You’re resisting what you need to do. Write down your priority list for the day, then write down what you did. How productive were you? What results did you produce? It’s not about effort, it’s about results. You might think you’re doing well, but when you actually see your progress written down, you’ll probably decide to increase your efforts. You want to be productive, not just busy, because a lifetime can be spent being busy with nothing to show for it.
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