But today, I wanted to tell you about their latest newsletter, entitled "No is the New Yes." When I first saw it, I was immediately hooked (one, because I love all "blank is the new blank" quotes, and two, because I actually agree with this), so I opened it up to take a look and this is what I saw (bolded text is my own emphasis):
The act of prioritizing – focusing on those tasks and projects that add the greatest value – doesn’t come to us naturally. It requires both awareness and intentionality. At a practical level, it means setting aside regular time to reflect on and define priorities, rather than simply plunging into the next task that comes to mind or reacting to the next request that flashes up on your computer screen.
Many of us have become addicted, unwittingly, to the speed of our lives — the adrenalin high of constant busyness. We mistake activity for productivity, more for better, and we ask ourselves "What's next?" far more often than we do "Why this?"
It's only when we pause — when we say no to the next urgent demand or seductive source of instant gratification — that we give ourselves the space to reflect on, metabolize, assess, and make sense of what we've just experienced.
Do you see why I this caught my attention? It's exactly what I've been striving for (!!), even though it's much easier said than done. But I totally agree with the statement that we have become addicted to the "speed of our lives," and that we "mistake activity for productivity." I know that in my own life, at least, this has become the case.
So, I like this idea of setting aside time to "reflect and define priorities"--and sure, it's very helpful from a work standpoint, but I also think it's important from a life standpoint. Picking a time each day, or a day each week to stop and reflect on our life priorities, how we want to live, and how we're currently living, is a great way to ensure that we're not wasting time focusing on the wrong things.
I often make fun of Ben and tell him that he's "The No Man" (like Jim Carrey's character at the beginning of the movie The Yes Man), saying that his gut instinct is to say "no" to things right away, then think about them, and say "yes" later if he thinks it makes sense for his life and schedule. While typically, I'm the exact opposite, saying "yes" to almost everything right away and then only saying "no" when I realize that something I committed to really won't work, or that I cannot possibly swing it without running myself into the ground. Although I do joke about this with him, I have to say that today, I agree with both Ben and The Energy Project, and think that starting to say "no" is actually a really healthy way to live. We should all do more of it.
If we don't set boundaries for ourselves and admit that we can't actually do everything, we won't ever find happiness or comfort in our lives--we'll just be too busy to do so. Wouldn't you agree?
So what can you say "no" to this week?
Think about it, say "no," and then fill that time with activities that refill your energy reserves, instead of deplete them...
Because these days, for this girl, no is TOTALLY the new yes ;)