I’ve written lots lately about focus, struggling to get myself more-clear, to concentrate on fewer goals, dismissing more distractions …
I read something recently – don’t recall who/where. Their message stuck – regarding invitations to mee or participate in things/events (I get several every week for work, community or charity events plus business meet/connect and networking events. If I let them, they consume a ton of time. I try to attend those most relevant to my work, causes I care about and people I like, Still, they gobble so much of the calendar). Advice I read was to only accept/attend when my immediate reaction is, “hell yeah!”.
Two simple words. One clear feeling. One clear direction.
I’ve been implementing!
Not as excuses to not attend things I don’t want to attend, but clearer self-license to only go where I absolutely want.
I’ve gotten better at declining.
I don’t like when people give me lame excuses, so I vow not to give lame excuses.
To be clearly direct without offending, not hurting feelings; easier because of a step I took several years ago – of protecting time on my calendar which I dedicate to my work or play, time when nothing invades, when nobody gets my time …
You might ask “what works best?”
I doubt my way works best for anyone else, but I’m happy to share what I’ve been doing. If it is an event, simply saying “thanks for inviting me but I am not available”, but if that is someone persistent who wants to get together it is more complicated. Why? Because simply being “sorry, not available at that time” then begs this question, “when is a good time?” That is fine if I really want to meet that person – but if I don’t, a not-available answer doesn’t sell. I find, “thanks, but I don’t have time for ______” or “thanks, but I’m not interested in ________” works better. No need to be rude or mean, but really good to be clear and direct.
Now, back to my “hell yeah” strategy.
I find my first thought is often “hell no”. Good reason to pause, because allocating precious time – social or business – ought to be about where we want to be, what we want to be doing and most important of all, who it is we want to be doing it with. This little strategy has not completely solved anything on its own, but it has helped with my ‘focus challenge’. I know I’ll keep writing on this until I am clearer.