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Day #6: What is Your Time Worth?
Put an actual price on it. How much of it are you willing to spend?
You knocked Day #5 our of the park, right?
You Figured out Your Big WHY before assessing something substantial that wasn’t adding up. Then, hopefully, you said…
“The more you add - the more you're opening up to negotiation. Just leave it as close to the 'no' as possible.”
“Time is the raw material of creation.”
It is also the most valuable non-renewable resource you have. As Kevin Ashton writes, ‘Saying “NO” has more creative power than ideas, insights and talent combined. NO guards time, the thread from which we weave our creations. The math of time is simple: you have less than you think and need more than you know. We are not taught to say “NO.” We are taught not to say “NO.” “NO” is rude. “NO” is a rebuff, a rebuttal, a minor act of verbal violence. “NO” is for drugs and strangers with candy.’
So how much of your time are you willing to give away?
Saying NO to others isn't easy. For that reason, sometimes we make up lies and excuses to get out of things.
We put ourselves in an awkward position of over-explaining why we can't do something. The more detail you add to your NO, the more you're opening yourself up for negotiation with the other person; "Well if you can't do it this week, are you free next week?"
You need to put a value on your time and be clear about why you're saying NO.
I promised you I'd get to how to say NO to people to whom you have obligations; family, friends, professional colleagues, bosses -- and we will begin that today, by establishing value for your time.
It's important to remember that when dealing with people who are requesting your time and attention, you are making a value judgment about yourself.
If you don't respect your time, why would you expect anyone else to?
This will form the basis of your response to requests from hereon.
For today, I need you to assess the way you spend your time and put a value on it. If a request comes in and, after pausing to assess, you feel the request is not worth your time; make that value comparison. Ask yourself, "Is this worth my time?" or "Is this a useful way to invest my attention?" If not, you can say NO. It might not feel like it sometimes, but NO is always an option.
In Marie Forleo's Ultimate Guide to Saying No, she provides 19 word-for-word scripts for almost any situation with grace, and without hurting the other person's feelings or damaging your relationships.
They cover things we'll explore in the coming days, such as:
1. Saying NO to your boss,
2. Saying NO to your friend,
3. Saying NO to your clients/customers,
4. Saying NO to your collaborators,
5. Saying NO to those "Can we grab a coffee and ask you about x?" requests,
6. Saying NO to anyone else.
But for today, your homework is to pause and ask yourself, What is my time worth? (Hint: It's a lot.) Baby steps. Remember, NO takes practice. Start small. Work your way up.
Again, telling your boss NO is quite simple, but not easy.
Enduring your peer pressure is quite simple, but not easy.
Protecting your irreplaceable time is quite simple, but not easy.
Staying on your course when everyone tells you to change it is simple, but not easy.
Baby steps. NO takes practice. Start small, and work your way up.
Creative People Say No
Time is the raw material of creation. Wipe away the magic and myth of creating and all that remains is work: the work of becoming expert through study and practice, the work of finding solutions to problems and problems with those solutions, the work of trial and error, the work of thinking and perfecting, the work of creating. Creating consumes. It is all day, every day. It knows neither weekends nor vacations. It is not when we feel like it. It is habit, compulsion, obsession, vocation. The common thread that links creators is how they spend their time. No matter what you read, no matter what they claim, nearly all creators spend nearly all their time on the work of creation. There are few overnight successes and many up-all-night successes.
Austin Kleon has a nice compilation of people being inventive about how they say NO to various requests and perceived obligations here.