Too often we are asked to do something, are presented with a challenge, or given a new task, and we simply push them away.

They say, practice saying NO.

I say, practice saying YES.

Of course, you have to find a balance between the YES and NOs.  10 years ago as I was taking on more and more, the project manager I had hired to offload work from at some point turned around and told me, it doesn’t matter how much you offload, you just keep taking more on. I thought to myself that was the whole point.  I was offloading things that he could do so that I could take on things that were more important to me.  I was the unstoppable hulk.  Full of energy, and enthusiasm, with a go-get it attitude.

We talked about the different approaches and we both agreed that we are both right. After that conversation, I changed one thing, I only took on things that were directly aligned with my vision. Whatever I did must in someway, help me achieve my goals or teach me something new and useful.

The effort paid off.

Today, I keep on practicing the saying YES and I do so with mindfullness.

This week, starting from yesterday would have looked liked:

7:00 Blog (missed)
9:00 One to One meeting and planning with my intern student / programmer
11:00 Pick up my father from the airport
16:00  One to one meeting (None Profit Association meeting- update with my colleague).
17:00 Physio
18:30 Committee meeting (missed)
19:00 Pick up my daughter from French classes
20:00 Drive a friend for a medical checkup
22:00 Back home, catch up with my father and finally
23:30 hit bed (way past my normal bed time 🙂 LOL )

Today (Tuesday)
07:00 Blog (I am writing it now)
09:00 Intern student meeting
09:30 Online meeting
10:00 Demo presentation of our software
11:00  Client call
11:30  Client call
12:00 Intern catch up
14:00 drive up to Cordoba
18:00 Toastmaster Cordoba Demo session- I volunteered to help.

Normally it would have a heavy schedule of
06:00 driving back.
08:00 Speaking with clients while driving back
09:00 Intern student catch up
12:00 Meeting with clients
and …
19:00 Meeting with Toastmaster new members
20:00 Marbella Toastmasters. Practice public speaking in English

Morning meetings as always
19:00 Toastmasters Malaga session to practice public speaking in Spanish

06:00 drive up to Cordoba again
09:00 Tech hub presentation
11:00 Investors round table
14:00 lunch and networking.
18:00 Drive back
21:00 Hopefully arrive home

That was my plan. I would have normally done it, however the driving is tiring and equally a huge loss of time.  Practically 12 hours up and down in one week.

I decided to cut out the middle of the week out. Instead of saying YES to Wednesday and Thursday, I will stay in Cordoba. I will save 6 hours and this way I can say YES to other opportunities.  Marbella and Malaga are events that I attend every week. I can miss them, even though I would prefer not to miss them.  The only reason I have decided against saying YES or attending these sessions is the driving time.

Apart from the fact that it is tiring, it is also a waste of time. Time that I can use better doing other things.  I know that I will be equally as busy in Cordoba and I can use the time more productively.

It is a fine line between saying YES and NO. I always prefer saying YES and I practice saying YES while taking NO into consideration when required.

Life is a sea of opportunities. Use them and abuse them, to get the most out of life, squeeze every last drop to your advantage so that when you leave, you leave without regret of not having done this or that.

How do you decide on your YES and NOs?

Is your first answer always YES or NO?

I have spent the past four years helping entrepreneurs and startup founders with their decision making. How to decide what is important and focus on their goals.