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Productivity without Sacrifice. How I learned to stop and smell the roses.

Family time Learning to say No Productivity Slow down

Making time for what really matters Let me just start by saying I love the smell of roses. But, I rarely get to smell them. Literally and figuratively. My plate always seems full.  With things from the kids school, help with homework, errands, the bank, the grocery, the dry cleaners, PTO, running the kids to practice and games, and the list goes on. Business is looked at as glamorous and it seems like the more I try to pull away from this the more I find myself falling deeper into the trap of staying busy. If you are like me, you find yourself needing to stay busy and its almost like a self satisfaction. Or maybe its because you believe that the more you get done that quantifies what kind of a person or mother or wife you are.   Crossing things off your list of to-do's makes you feel more accomplished than the stillness ever will. You may even be attempting to accomplish your perfect little list at the cost of spending quality time with those who really matter. Your circle of those who are closest to you such as your family. Your children. Your spouse. They may be the first ones to see and feel the  impact of your stresses and overwhelm. For me, I start feeling like there aren't enough hours in the day to accomplish everything. Somethings started rolling over from one day to the next and the next day seems so full its just impossible. Relate?

Remembering whats important

One day I realized the things I thought were important started to take back burners and seem less important as before. Taking more trips to the beach, watching movies with the kids, spending more quiet time with my husband. And the kind of quality time that everyone remembers. Not the hurry-up-and-lets-talk-about-our-week-so-I-can-get-back-to-my-list kind of quality time. Learning to be in the present. Now, that was hard for me to do (and still is at times) because again my mind was usually racing before my feet hit the ground.  I looked at idle time as a waste of time. Every minute needed to be used up to be deemed as a "productive" day.  How can it possibly be productive sitting and watching the rain fall while drinking tea and reading a book. But you know what...This is one of my favorite things to do now! When we learn to embrace life like this, it also gives permission for those we live with to enjoy those things as well. Take time to breath, go outside and enjoy a fun game of soccer, watch a movie, or just sit and do nothing at all. I was finding the more that I checked email, ran around 'doing' than being, it was rubbing off on my family. I was making everyone else feel like their total day needed to be used up. To sum it up, my business became their business.

Pleasing everyone is not our job

I guess you could say that I started saying NO more so I could say yes to those people and things that really mattered. I found myself needing to please others; since a people pleaser is what I am by nature; but soon realized that when I needed a favor from those that seemed like friends, the favor was rarely returned. I felt frustrated and couldn't figure out how others could be so disrespectful or irresponsible. That was just rude not to return favors by going out of your way to help those who have helped you. I became offended when it really had nothing to do with me. Offense is another trap that I will save for another post.

I soon learned that I gained nothing but it was more about what I lost and missed out on. I lost important family moments, walks with the kids, a game of soccer due to being on an important phone call, missed moments to read a story, quiet time with my husband. All because I was doing that "thing" that someone else needed so I could become that person everyone could rely on.

I was looking for permission to say No

Guess what? The word No is so freeing. It frees your mind, your day, your attitude, your outlook, your perspective, your personality. I want to be that person who says Yes more often but to things I choose.  Teaching others to adopt this same concept. Hoping others can truly understand why I feel the need to say no more often and be okay with this. I want to be that Yes person, but with stipulations, guidelines, rules, and regulation that I set. Not at the cost of my family. At the end of the day all that added stress needs to be for a reason, right? How do you qualify the stresses in your life? Next time you're faced with a decision, try this:
  1. Take a moment to stop
  2. Pray about it
  3. Reflect who this is for
  4. Does saying yes already make your heart beat faster (in a bad way)
  5. Will saying yes make it harder to complete a more important assignment
  6. Will it distract from your home life
  7. Does it add more stress to your day/month
  8. Will it disappoint someone
  9. Will it disappoint you
  10. How close of a friend is this person who is asking
  11.  Have you spoken to your spouse about this
I value My time, Our time. With satisfaction and not expectation. You can too! It is my hope that you can start to say no to more so you start living the life you want. Smell the roses, go for that walk, go to that game, take the kids to the park, order pizza, sit and relax and watch movies, watch the rain fall, head to a weekend getaway, spend that quality time alone with your spouse. Be you. Breath. Go smell the roses. Your encourager, Tyra    

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