If you haven’t read James Clear’s blockbuster book on habits, you owe it to yourself to. It’s the best way to build habits and routines that are an intrinsic part of you.
One of the best ways to a super productive you is, as James describes in this excerpted post, saying No.
Ever think about the events you set in action when you just say yes as a reactive reflex?
The Difference Between Yes and No
The words “yes” and “no” get used in comparison to each other so often that it feels like they carry equal weight in conversation. In reality, they are not just opposite in meaning, but of entirely different magnitudes in commitment.
When you say no, you are only saying no to one option. When you say yes, you are saying no to every other option. Once you have committed to something, you have already decided how that future hour will be spent.
Saying no gains you time in the future. Saying yes costs you time in the future. No is a form of time credit. You retain the ability to spend your time however you want. Yes is a form of time debt. You have to pay it back at some point.
In short: No is a decision. Yes is a responsibility.
But you can’t just go willy-nilly saying no, nope, nada now, can you?
Earning the Right to Say No
In most fields, you have to go through a period where you say yes to nearly every opportunity before you can earn the right to say no to nearly every opportunity.
Learning to make this switch is hard.
So this week, learn how to say no, and then get better at saying no.
Like James concludes, Say no, more. Say yes, carefully.
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