Learning to say no more often
It was one of those days today. I learned as I checked my email this morning a web site had been down almost two hours. It went that way most of the day. It took me many hours to get to the thing I had been at the top of my to-do list for today. I felt behind almost all day, a feeling I do not like. Sometimes lifehappens, but I am realising more and more that all too often I set myself up for days like today.
I cannot predict things like down web sites. Some of what I had to do today was work related and dictated to me by others; I have no control over those things. Other things had self-selected due dates or deadlines – I had control over them when I picked them, but many could not be changed today. More thought before setting due dates would allow me to space things better, but I still have limited control – especially when I cannot predict something breaking or someone adding a few work related tasks with a short deadline.
What I can control is the things for which I volunteer, and I had a couple of those today too. Once I say yes, I feel committed to do what I have said unless there are extreme circumstances. I have had a bad habit of saying yes when there is a need and I can fill. I am especially bad about doing this when I do not see anyone else likely to fill the need.
Yesterday we were talking with a couple, and she said she has learned to reply to any request for her help (and thus her time) with “let me pray about it and get back to you”. She says she tends to say no to most things when she does that. I think I am going to try this, or at least try to think to do it. I should be doing what God wants me doing, not everything I am able to do.
A couple of years ago I was daily saying, “Just because you can do something does not mean you should.” This is taking the time to think and pray and sort what should be done from what should not be done – at least not by me.
If you are tired of doing too much, maybe you will join me?