Lately I've been reading books about economics - it's really a fascinating subject. One of the economic principles that has stood out to my wife and I the most is:

Every time you choose to spend a dollar on something, you've made a decision not to spend it on something else.

It really helps to think about what you're saying no to when you reach for your wallet... but how does this relate to time management?

Saying No = Saying Yes

The principle is the same for money as it is for minutes. Every time you say no to spending your time one way, you're saying yes to spending it a different way. This could mean working on that side project you have going, spending more time with your kids, getting away from your computer, or launching that startup you've been dreaming about.

The trick to figuring out what to say no to is understanding your priorities.

Action Expresses Priority

I bet if you take a look how you spend your time during the average day, you'll see a disconnect between your deeply held priorities and your actions. It's important to write down what you truly want to achieve and then arrange your actions to achieve those goals over your lifetime. Once you've written down your goals, the next step is saying no to everything that distracts from those goals.

My Story

It was mid December 2011 and I was stressed out In the midst of the holiday hustle and bustle. Overwhelmed and looking forward to a break, I was in a bind. I had agreed to develop too many client projects at once, with everybody pushing to see something by the new year. On top of that, my startup QuoteRobot was in desperate need of some upgrades. I was frustrated, stressed out, and unhappy.

I got into this mess because I couldn't say no.

The last 6 months for me has been an incredible journey into the freedom of saying no so I can say yes to what I really want to be doing.

This has meant saying no to some great clients - letting them know that client work isn't part of my future goals. It's meant letting go of sources of revenue that I've depended on and am comfortable with, so I could say yes to spending more time growing QuoteRobot.

I'm happy to report that 6 months later I am loving life and feeling more creative than ever. I'm truly blessed to have discovered that saying no = saying yes.

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