The other day I told a friend my new hobby was saying no.

 © Stuart Miles |

It is one of those things that just fell out of my mouth without me thinking about it first. (Always nice when those things don’t get me in trouble!)

I said it because I’ve been saying no a lot more often when asked to do something. “Yes” is no longer my default answer and “I have nothing else to do” is no longer a good reason to say yes. (And in truth, there is always something else I could be doing.)

My goal is not to say no, but to create margin. Margin will allow me to say yes to what’s really important. A friend needed to move in a hurry, and I was able to say yes to help less than 24 hours after the call. When a couple we hang with wanted to get together to play games and talk it was easy. When we get home from an evening meeting, I don’t have work I have to finish. Margin has made a huge improvement in my life. I’m less stressed, I’m happier, and my marriage has benefited. Margin is good stuff!

Try saying no more often, so you can say yes to more of what really matters. Maybe no should be the new yes!

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I've become more of a NO gal myself lately. I've been thinking about Stephen Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and how I prioritize my time. Sometimes the priority has to be rest and rejuvenation--for myself, my marriage, my family. Margin is a great way to look at it. Nice hobby, Paul. :)

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