Our lives are fast-paced, high-powered, and hot-wired. Blame it on technology, digital demands, or caffeine, but we are forced to put the pedal to the metal every day. But at what point do things get out of control? At what point is our mental health affected?
Read on to learn some ways on how to stay focused, realize when things are out of control, and when and how to just say NO.
The work-life balance is tough—there’s no denying this. And if we aren’t careful, things can spiral out of control very quickly. From managing a job, raising a family, running a business, finding time to exercise, prepare healthy meals, run errands, spending time with friends, family, and loved ones, it’s exhausting…
But life shouldn’t be that way…and it doesn’t have to be.
Sometimes finding the right work and life balance means learning how and when to say no.
Imagine this: You wake up in the morning before the crack of down, you tie your sneakers, plug in your headphones and hit the pavement, you shower, dress, and make your coffee for the day. And before 7am hits, there are four new projects on your plate, 20 new emails after it took you all morning to get through 10, 3 missed calls, and some how you have to find time to prepare that meeting before the afternoon.
You’re exhausted before lunchtime, and the day isn’t even over yet…
After months and months of this routine, not only is it physically and mentally exhausting, but it can also wreak havoc on your physical and mental health. Your sleep patterns can be interrupted, you tend to make poorer diet choices, you begin forgetting things, your quality, productivity, and performance levels suffer, and you just feel…sluggish. And the constant state of tension and stress is pushing you one step further to a mental break down…
If this sounds like you, then it’s time to start saying no.
But if you are like me, then you might find that saying no is hard. You want to help with projects, you want to help clients, you want to help your coworkers and you just want to be successful. But learning when to say no is also crucial to success. Taking on more than what you are physically and mentally capable of doesn’t mean failure, and it doesn’t mean you can’t hack it; it simply means that you are making intelligent choices that are important for productivity, work load, and simply managing others’ expectations.
If you still have trouble saying no, then another way that often helps is being realistic with time frames. For example, if your manager or a team member asks for your help on a project or a friend or family member asks you to plan a sleepover for the kids on an already jammed packed day, then tell them that you are swamped and that you would need at least two weeks to work on their project or plan a different night for a slumber party.
This isn’t entirely saying no, but politely saying, “not right now, how about a different day?” You are being honest, upfront, and managing others’ expectations effectively and even proposing a solution that works for all involved.
Remember, if you focus too much on making everyone else happy, then you are only setting yourself up for failure.
Finally, learning how and when to say no is something that successful people learn how to do. Break away from the mind frame that “no” equals “failure”, and get into the habit of recognizing your own limits, staying focused, and only taking on projects that you can finish in a realistic time frame that works for you.