Time. It's such an interesting concept.
Probably the most valuable commodity we have, but we waste so much of it.
But what if I was to tell you a really simple way to find yourself more time?
You're getting ready to go out and your fed up.
You wanted a quiet night in with Netflix and wine, but your friend wanted to meet for a chat. You already know it's going to be a one sided conversation as they dump all their stresses onto you and barely even asks how you are.
Now imagine this: you're asked to meet up with a friend, but you decline, respectfully and politely and without conflict.
You’re asked to go to the cinema to see a film you're not interested in, but say yes because you don’t want to hurt their feelings.
You pay for the car park, buy popcorn and a drink and the ticket (and you know how expensive they are!) and sit through a film you have absolutely no interest in.
Now imagine this: You’re asked to go to the cinema to see a film you're not interest in, so you decline respectfully, politely and without conflict.
You’re invited to a birthday meal by a work colleague you don’t like, but say yes because you don’t want people to think you’re rude.
You pay for the car park and the meal, and make tedious, boring small talk until you can escape home again.
Now imagine this: You’re invited to go to a birthday meal by a work colleague you don’t like, so you decline respectfully, politely and without conflict.
What kind of difference would more time make in your life?
I wonder how many times you've wanted to do something, but can't because you're 'too busy'?
Maybe you've wanted to take up a hobby, like photography, or leisure activity like dance classes.
Maybe you'd like to take up a craft like sculpting, or something musical, like singing in a choir or learning an instrument.
Maybe you're irritated every day by the state of your wardrobe but never get the time to sort through and de-clutter it.
Maybe you'd love to start a decorating project, or a gardening project but just can't find the time.
Or maybe, you just want to use the time to relax, to read, to meditate, to write, to just chill and enjoy life.
So if you want more time and there will only ever be 24 hours in a day, saying no to the things you don't want to do is the way forward.
It sounds so easy, doesn't it - just say no to people. And for some people it is - very easy!
But for many people, saying no is really difficult. Fears around being rude, hurting peoples feelings, being thought badly of and ultimately rejection all make saying no feel impossible.
Saying no is a fundamental communication skill that will aid you at work, in relationships, and frankly is all situations, enabling you to take back control.
If enough is enough and you're ready to make the change try one of my suggestions above.
Jane Travis is a qualified and experienced counsellor and clinical supervisor in the Lincoln area. She has been working at Reflections Counselling Lincoln since 2005.
She also helps other counsellors and therapists market and grow their private practices at JaneTravis.co.uk.
FREE Cheatsheet 'How To Say No'.