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Day #16: The Sent Folder Audit
This one is uncomfortable, but you'll thank me for it.
"Always remember: your focus determines your reality."
— George Lucas
I'm not going to lie to you... today's exercise is not pleasant. But it will only take 10 minutes, tops.
I want you to go through your SENT folder from the past 3 weeks, and look at all the requests you've processed for your time and attention. Where could you have said NO with little to no fallout? Where did you say “Yes” just to feel nice in the moment.
I understand that saying NO carte blanche to every request will literally get you fired in some cases, but that's not what this is. You need to take an objective look at your correspondence in the clear light of day, and really…
look at the amount of time you're just giving away to people without a second thought.
Read your emails as if they were sent by someone else. Pretend you're scrolling through somebody's sent folder and make a clear and unemotional assessment of where you could have saved yourself an hour, a half-day, or a collective week over the course of a month.
The more mindful you are of the emails you've already sent, the more mindful you will become about the emails you're yet to send.
Never forget: A Yes costs you time. A NO buys you time.
At this stage of the challenge, you might feel like I'm repeating myself a lot. That's on purpose. The average message needs to be shown consciously or subconsciously at least 4 times for it to sink in. Something this important bears repeating. Stick this wallpaper on your phone:
Baby steps. NO takes practice. Start small, and work your way up.