« Back to Blog November 16, 2015 | Design Career

Taking Control of My Valuable Time

For the past two weeks, my schedule has been absolutely packed. I’ve been meeting with great new people, working on projects for myself and for others, and hanging out with friends. The problem? I’ve been over committing myself and it is starting to take its toll.

One of the hardest things for me to do is to say no to others when I don’t have a “legitimate” excuse to say no. Unless I have already committed myself to someone else at the same time, it’s very hard for me to not say yes to hanging out with friends, saying yes to more work, or pretty much anything that comes up. This isn’t a sustainable way for me to act if I’m going to keep up with the output I want Airship to have.

I have fallen into the habit of thinking “I’ll have time for that tomorrow” more times than I’d care to admit. And while I realize that I will never be able to get everything I’d like to done each day, I need to make sure I’m truly satisfied with how much I’ve done at the end of the day.

I’ve made so many commitments, that as a result, in the past month I have had to break commitments to myself and to others. Neither feels good at all. I like to think that I take every commitment I make very seriously. If I say I’m going to be somewhere, I show up. If I say I’m going to get something done, I finish it. To not meet the expectations I have set for myself or I’ve set for others is extremely disappointing, no matter the reason.

This comes down to my level of self-control. I need to start saying “no” more often and to more people.

Saying “no” more often means I will have greater control over my time and energy. When I say yes to everyone and everything that comes my way, I’m not the one truly in control of my time or schedule. If I say no to more things, I will have more time to get some of these important things off of my to-do list and out into the world.

Now, this article isn’t some passive aggressive attempt to shame people who ask me for my time whether it is for fun or business. I love hanging out with my friends, spending time with my family, and working and meeting with new people. I want to do better for everyone. I want people to know that when I say yes, it means I’ll be where I say I’ll be and that activity will have my full attention.

When I make a commitment I shouldn’t have made I always feel torn between enjoying where I am, and thinking about the work that should be getting done, but isn’t. I want my word to really mean something. I need to start saying no to more things, start fulfilling more commitments to myself, and honoring every commitment I make to others.

So I am making a new commitment, to make dedicated time for my business, for others, and for myself. I need to make sure the balance is right. I want to feel fulfilled in each of these areas and not resent any one of them for detracting from the others.

My time is valuable, I need to make sure I’m investing it correctly.

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