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Day #20: Want to set up a quick call to chat? Should we have coffee next week? Let’s get together to discuss?
Today's contributions from Seneca via Ryan Holiday
“No person hands out their money to passers-by, but to how many do each of us hand out our lives! We’re tight-fisted with property and money, yet think too little of wasting time, the one thing about which we should all be the toughest misers.”
As we dive into the final days of NO, I’ll share more insights from the history’s great philosophers. Having read nearly everything he has ever published, I can say that there’s no better resource for ancient Stoic wisdom than Ryan Holiday. The above is a page from my bullet journal I like to revisit each NoVember.
Today’s insight into giving away time is in two parts:
1: To Everyone Who Asks For ‘Just A Little’ Of Your Time: Here’s What It Costs To Say Yes
Want to set up a quick call to chat? Should we have coffee next week? Let’s get together to discuss?
Nope, nope, nope.
I could, but I just can’t.
Even if they are serious opportunities, even if it will only take 15 minutes, even if it’s something that everyone else does, I’d like to avoid it.
Of course, I’m not perfect at this. I succumb, like everyone else in the modern world (so if you think I’m being a hypocrite, I am…and that’s why I really have to say no this time). There’s stuff I have to do and that stuff has to be scheduled. There are requirements for work and for basic civility. But even then…
When I pull up my phone, click the day’s date and see too many little boxes of time blocked off, I get very nervous. What is all this? Where did all my time go? What about my day? Why did I agree to any of this again? (The answer is usually because it was really far away and I thought it would magically work itself out.)
2: How To Say "No": Advice From The World's Most Powerful Man
No person would give up even an inch of their estate, and the slightest dispute with a neighbor can mean hell to pay; yet we easily let others encroach on our lives—worse, we often pave the way for those who will take it over.
No person hands out their money to passers-by, but to how many do each of us hand out our lives! We’re tight-fisted with property and money, yet think too little of wasting time, the one thing about which we should all be the toughest misers.
You can only hand so many hours of your day over to other people before there is none left. Even if there are some left, you may have lost the clarity, the energy and the capacity to do anything with them.
📖 Recommended Reading:
These are the books by Ryan Holiday that I revisit constantly throughout the year:
2014: The Obstacle Is the Way 🔗 Link
Tell me how you’re going with using these tools in the comments. Ask questions.