“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.” ― Warren Buffett
The first time I heard this quote, it was a total game changer for me. I heard it on one of my podcasts while the speaker was discussing how difficult it was for him to learn how to say no. It inspired me to set new goals that would help maximize my productivity. My goal for the past six months has been learning how to say NO more often.
There are tons of posts that talk about how to make the perfect TO DO lists, but I want to flip the script a little bit and talk about how to make an UN To Do List instead. As a society, we value multitasking so much that we sometimes feel underproductive if we’re not doing a million different things.
I definitely struggle with this. I’m the type of person who loves to take on new responsibilities. I’m queen of the multitaskers. I sometimes think that I’m Wonder Woman and can handle everything on my plate. It’s easy for me to say yes to everything that I’m asked to do. It took me awhile to realize that saying yes to some things was keeping me from saying yes to the most important things. I realized that to really reach my goals I had to start saying no, and so I did.
Once we learn how to say NO to more and more things that don’t really matter, we leave room to say YES to things that do matter.
Saying no helped me to bring my life back into balance. By nature I’m an organized person but I had been allowing myself to slack off. Saying no to things that weren’t leading me to maximize my productivity and better my life freed up my time to start working on things that matter. I ended up having extra time to focus on my passions and things that I let fall to the side. This is what happened with writing. I’ve always wanted to blog and write books but I let that fall to the side because I was distracted by things that didn’t matter. I said no to more, said yes to writing and here I am!
Before you can organize your life, you need to understand WHY it’s not organized in the first place
To do that, you need to ask yourself a few questions, the main one being this: What is keeping you from being productive? Is it procrastination or a lack of discipline? Maybe it’s a lack of time management or the fact that there’s too much on your plate?
This post is dedicated to challenging you to take a look at what you’re focusing on and get rid of things that you’re spending TOO much time on. For that reason, I’ve created 8 VITAL questions for you that will help you get organized, maximize your productivity and improve your life.
The most effective way to reflect on these questions is to give yourself some alone time and go to a place where you can have peace and quiet. A self-date or me time is what I like to call it. Try to give yourself 30-60 minutes of time alone to reflect on these, take notes and enjoy some peace and quiet. Put your phone on airplane mode or do not disturb, grab a cup of tea or coffee and get writing (or typing).
Productivity + Organization Self- Reflection Questions
- What is organized in my life that I’m doing RIGHT?
- What is it that I’m doing to keep this organized?
- What is unorganized in my life that I’m doing WRONG?
- Why is it unorganized? What am I doing wrong?
- What is keeping me from being productive and organized: procrastination, lack of discipline, poor time management, etc.?
- What am I currently doing that I should STOP doing? (Think of things that are taking up a lot of your time but aren’t leading to you having a more beneficial and productive life?)
- What SHOULD I be doing but don’t currently have time for? (Things that would lead to you having a more beneficial and productive life)
- What things do I have a hard time saying NO to?
- What is one thing I’m going to STOP doing this week?
- HOW am I going to stop doing this? What does this look like?
- What is one thing I’m going to START doing this week?
- HOW am I going to start doing this? What does this look like?
Once you have these all written down on paper, you can begin to really start say NO to things you don’t need in your life. Follow this list, hang it somewhere you will see it and write down dates for WHEN you want these things to happen. Writing down goals, setting time limits and getting accountability are the most effective ways to make your goals become reality.
Answer these questions, find someone to keep you accountable and be on your way towards a more productive and organized life!
Feel free to comment with what you’re saying NO to! I would love to hear it!