I recently wrote about why the new year is a great time to reflect on and embrace a learning mindset. Every single day we are exposed to the opportunity to learn new information, new ways, new ideas, new technology – from multiple sources. It’s so important to embrace these new learnings because we can always be better. To help you keep embracing a learning mindset in 2018, the Silly Season (and more particularly December 11th – 24th) is the perfect time to think differently about your time. It’s the perfect time to practice the art of saying ‘No’.
1. Let’s agree it’s a seriously silly time of year
What is it about December that turns normal, ordinarily sensible people into frenzied lunatics with a manic need to see everyone within their social and work set; everyone within their partner’s work and social set; and everyone within each of their kids’ schools and sports sets by the arbitrary cut off date of 24 December? Add to that the obsessive need to complete every single piece of work for every single client within the same time frame. Why do we do this? It’s called the Silly Season for a reason. You are being Silly.
2. How to say No
The Silly Season is the perfect time for you to get into the habit of saying No. A habit that will serve you well for 2018. Saying No can be confronting – most of us are programmed to please, or in the least programmed to want to be liked. As such, when someone asks us to help them or to do a favour, our default is to say ‘Yes’, regardless of whether it is something we want to do, or not.
Here is a simple step by step roadmap to help you get in to habit of saying No:
1.Think before you speak – pause and give your brain a chance to catch up with what your mouth is about to say.
2.Ask yourself Is this the best use of my time? If it genuinely is, then go for it – it’s something you really do Want to do.
3.If it’s not something you want to do, try something like this: ‘Thank you so much for thinking of me. Unfortunately I can’t commit at the moment, it’s the Silly Season! However if anything changes I will come back to you.’ Polite? Tick. You haven’t committed your precious time to something you don’t want to do? Tick. You have left the door open if you change your mind? Tick. You won’t be chased because you have taken control of the follow up? Tick.
4.If all else fails remember that every time you say Yes to someone else you are saying No to yourself.
Use the Silly Season to practice your new skill – it is bound to come in handy in 2018.