17 May 2011

The art of saying "No"

What to do when work is overcoming or you simply forgot: to say NO!
We surely all know that situation: sitting in front of a butload of work and asking yourself: where to start ... or 'will this ever have an ending?'
However, lets ask the question: Why do I sit in front of that butload of work?

Perhaps the reason why is -  that I did postpone it again and again ... so the work did sum up - or ... I simply took too much up!
Well - the reason could, of course, also lie in the fact that I, quite honestly, forgot (again) to say NO.

Should the reason be that we simply did postpone it - lets ask:


What did I want to do before?
What have I done before and why did I postpone it?
What hinders me to do it immediately?

The answers to these questions often show us the solution.

We are often not in the mood to, because it is something which does not really cause fun and is probably a tiresome necessity. A very simple example: making the dishes, doing the laundry, taking the trash out, etc etc etc ...

We have to do it - but don't want to do it ... should however do it ... but would love to do something different ...
Who does not know that?!

I just have to look at me to give you a glorious example: Sitting in front of a huge mountain of laundry to be done and asking myself: 'How could that have happened?'
The answer was crystal clear: I don't take much pleasure in it - although it would only be a short walk to the washing machine ...

Let us draw a conclusion at this point: We like to do something that gives us pleasure! (keep that in mind)

Now to another case: I took too much work up!

Again - most of us know this situation: You made plans and took too much up - but you were only able to cope with half of it and are still snowed under with work ...

This: 'Sure, I can do that' - 'Well, I am able to' ... and more and more and more - and then ... going crazy

Why: A reason therefore can easily be that we want to test out our own limits or we simply don't know our own limits yet.
If we upload too much work ... the house of cards can rapidly collapse.

Should it be the case that work is about to overwhelm us - it is necessary to organize yourself better and - most of all - to delegate work that can be delegated!

The point "too much" likes to accompany the next point: forgetting to say NO!

Many of us are much too kind and have a helper syndrome in disguise ... whether our fellow men know that - or feel it subliminally ... at the end it will be very likely that most of the work will be done by us, because we were not able to say NO.

Saying NO is so important - as the NO shows our limits! Limits or borders set, which another person has to respect, as it is our life and our determination how we will live it and what for we will use our time.

Of course, there are compromises and sure we will have to make some - but it is always the fact that we are able to decide and determine!

So - if we forget to set our limits for others as well - we are getting vulnerable. It then often results in being confronted anew with something we actually did not want.
The one to be blamed - yourself. You forgot to say NO!

A good thing is - you are still able to say NO ... or learn to ask for help, should you discover that it is too much.

The point is not to please everybody and it is not true that people like you more, if you do anything for them or you want to relieve someone of something ... because you'd like to help.
Isn't it rather the point (or shouldn't it be) that people like you for who you are - and that means, saying as well: "Listen, it is too much for me!" or "No, I am sorry I can't ...!"

It is not bad to say "No"! It is not bad or a sign of weakness to ask for help ... no, it is rather a sign of strength as you have recognized that you have your limits - and that it is good like that!

The one being able to notice that and to realize it, will see that the others are not angry or disappointed - it might be a surprise for them and for yourself at the beginning ... but showing them your weakness and that your are just a human being as well and no superman or woman - makes you even more loveable than you already are!

Lets see what we have so far:

We love to do - what we like and it is easy for us to handle that.
We tend to postpone those things we don't like that much and what is a tiresome necessity.
We should learn to delegate some work and to organize our work.
Saying 'NO' is important!

What to do when being in the middle of a tremendous workload and the substance (your own) is slowly vanishing?
In fact the solution is fairly easy ... you just have to want and willing to realize it.

We kept in mind that you like to do what you love ... so first of all - you focus on that!

Best thing that can be done or should be done (to facilitate things) - list what has to be done!
Now check the list and see what points on that list could be delegated - transferred to others.

To transfer the work you best look out for persons having something to do with the situation. For example: housework!

Housework can be delegated and everyone living in the same household can do a bit - so that the work won't overwhelm one single person. Pity is - when you live alone! When living alone you will have to do the tiresome thing as well ... in that case you better start with the things you don't like that much: in my case it would be e.g. doing the dishes.
Should that be done - you focus on the things you are good in ... time will vanish quickly and the work will be done!

For other works to be done - do not forget to ask for help! You will notice that life will be easier when you sometimes show your weak points as well - you are just a human and you don't have to do everything by yourself!

What you never should forget as well ... especially when being stressed: Taking a time-out!

Taking some time off is really important ... as you need the time for get away from it all to be able to get new energy!

For those not knowing what to do as a time-out: you can make a short trip, meet friends, go into the movies, phone a friend and talk about funny things ... make a spa day - just drift a bit - hang loose!

Getting away from all the stress and leaving the hubbub behind - that is balm for your soul. Just try it and get out of your usual behaviour.

So - should you normally take a walk to relax ... do something different!
If drawing a painting is your stuff to do - grab a book and read ... or write ... just do something different!
Go out - get into the car, the bus, the tram or whatever ... and go somewhere else - make a day trip to a place you always wanted to go to ... or let the road lead you. Take your time ... look around carefully - try to see the beauty all around you: the clouds in the sky, the different shades of nature, the tiny little animals you would normally pass by without having a look at it.

Try for once - sitting still and just listen to the sounds surrounding you ... let yourself flow and get your mind clear.

If you take those "rules" to heart then work / stress has fewer and fewer points to gnaw on us and to wear us down!

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