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6 Keys to Respecting Your Time
By Maria Gracia
Are you the type of person that always says YES to every demand on your time? Can you watch my kids? Will you drive me to soccer practice? You're so good at sewing; can you help me make a party costume for my daughter? Would you mind calling that person for me? Since you're already working on the computer, would you mind typing me a letter?
Would you say YES to almost every one of these requests?
There is certainly no shortage of people looking for volunteers. But the truth is that you can only do so much, before getting stressed and exhausted.
One important thing to remember is that the only way that others are going to respect your time, is if YOU respect your time.
- DO ONE OR TWO THINGS, AND DO THEM WELL. Rather than volunteering at every school, church, organization or work activity, pick one or two things and focus your efforts on those. If someone else requests your time, let them know you're committed to these one or two activities, and simply cannot take on another.
- IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE ALL OR NOTHING. While you may consider helping someone out with something, that certainly doesn't mean you have to do it all. For example, rather than serving on a committee, you may volunteer to make reminder phone calls, or to type up the newsletter.
- BARTER. If someone asks you to volunteer your time, ask this person to volunteer their time right back. For instance, if your friend asks you to baby sit tonight, ask her if she can drive your son to school tomorrow.
- NO GUTS-NO GLORY. If you have no intention of saying YES, don't avoid the issue by saying, MAYBE, or IF I HAVE TIME. While this may temporarily alleviate your guilt, it's unfair to the other person, and you'll be wasting time fretting over what excuse you're going to give to this person. Just say No. And don't feel guilty about saying No, because you want to spend some quality time with your family, or you need some personal time alone.
- TAME YOUR TO DO LIST. Your To Do List should not be ten pages long. Good time management is picking and choosing those items that are truly important and saying NO to those that are not important at all. Force yourself to limit the amount of items on your To Do List.
- DO IT BECAUSE YOU WANT TO. While there are some situations that are to be considered emergencies--such as helping an ill relative or friend-- there are many other requests for your time that you simply don't have to do. The best rule of thumb is to choose those activities that you TRULY WANT TO DO--those things that will make you happy. If someone asks you for your time, and you find yourself thinking, 'Oh, no', then don't do it.
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