You’ve just opened your email and what do you see? An inbox full of invitations/offers for the latest and greatest from those you’ve corresponded with for a while. You begin with the first and work your way through from there, digging yourself out from under the chaff.
How often does this happen to you; daily, weekly, somewhere in-between?
My inbox has a daily influx of offers and must-see information. Of course, most of the problem stems from me.
If I didn’t have this insatiable thirst to KNOW everything possible–I’m a learning addict–I wouldn’t have subscriptions hanging out in the ether-zone like so many sparkly Christmas ornaments hanging on a colossal tree. As soon as the light inside my inbox flashes on them, I’m sunk.
At least, that’s how it used to be, until I made a pact with myself.
In order to do what I want and need to accomplish each day, most of those distractions had to find new homes elsewhere. My goal for de-cluttering was to rid my inbox of five such time-wasters each week.
Last week the topic of the day was risk management. This exercise of email freedom goes along with that risk theory. Saying NO to subscriptions was a choice—a choice to manage my time more effectively to create better work production.
- Do I need all of these subscriptions for any real purpose? NO
- Can I accept the fact that I am in charge of how I change my habits and when? YES
- Could I keep those subscriptions that add to my productivity? YES
- Can I get rid of five useless subscriptions this week without losing anything vital? YES
- Will I get rid of these energy and time wasters? YES
- When? NOW
The questions created focus on the problem, as well as stating a goal for pursuit. The process identified the problem. Next came accepting the fact that something needed to be done about it, and deciding what actions were doable, as well as creating a timetable for the actions.
If I didn’t do something to curb the problem of ever-increasing subscriptions, I risked lost production time due to constant distractions.
The Yes/No formula for solution-creation forced me to take responsibility for the problem—to step up to the plate, so to speak. From that point on, the accountability became mine.
The kicker was that an awareness of the problem wasn’t new to me. This exercise in freedom, though, demanded that procrastination get hung out to dry for the duration. Now, some might ask what procrastination has to do with anything here.
It has everything to do with the issue. The major acknowledgement for me is that procrastination stems from only two sources—fear or laziness. I work too hard for the latter to be the issue.
Therefore, fear has raised its ugly mug again. The fear stemmed from accountability issues. If I rid the distractions, responsibility for my own work environment and productivity landed squarely on my shoulders.
When I took emotional charge of my own productivity, other changes followed suit. I’ve grown rather fond of saying NO since then. The sound of those two letters resonates with its own strength. The spine straightens a fraction with each enunciation. The head comes up to see ahead.
The new feeling of independence floods my mind now when I say NO.
So, tell me, do you have some of these same issues? Do you say YES, knowing that you’re putting yourself in a crunch? Would you rather say YES than risk appearing unhelpful, uncool, or inadequate?
We all face some of these questions on a regular basis. Perhaps learning to say NO isn’t such a bad thing after all.
Tell me about your experiences with NO and YES. Don’t be shy. Leave a comment.
- Claudsy’s Blog: Managing Daily Risk (2voices1song.com)
- 10 Steps to Productive Procrastination (marccortez.com)
- Could You Sell Everything with Subscription Business Model? (standupstrategy.org)