Friday, 10 May 2013

Learn to say NO

Lately I've been busy a lot and I'm sure most of you can relate. Between work, getting my master's degree, handling the housework, helping out where I'm needed… there's just not enough time to do it all. I'm sure that many of you agree when I say that a day should consist of at least 48 hours, and it still wouldn't be enough for everything. The reason why I chose to write about this is because I think that nowadays almost everyone has the same problem: dividing themselves between their responsibilities at the workplace, at home, and every other place they need to be. I often thought of the solution, but until somebody will actually figure out how to clone humans, we should stick to one of the oldest methods: SAYING NO.

Image taken from Insight of an Intern

I myself am in the process of learning this, and I speak from experience when I say it is not easy at all.  It was a Friday when I concluded, that I should change something. I arrived home late (as usual), opened the fridge and realised that I hadn't cooked a proper meal since last Monday. I always told myself that this state is only temporary, and there will come a time when I will not have so many things to do. Well that time didn't come, so I decided to make it happen. My family, my friends, basically everyone has been telling me not to take on so many things, but I couldn't say no, even though I was well aware of the fact that I had no time for them.

I am not a perfectionist or anything, but I like to help people if I can. This is why I usually accept to translate three more articles for my friend, who studies to become a lawyer, though I know I will need to do research as well, since my vocabulary barely has any juridical expressions in it; or I go and check if my other friend's teacher has put out her grades, because I live closer to the college than she does. These are small things, but when there is a lot of them, they become bigger and bigger and I catch myself translating at 5 in the morning, when I need to go to work the next day. Still I can't say no to them, they are my friends, my family and I can't refuse them simply because I  don't have enough time.

I'm sure many of you know how this feels, therefore we all have to prioritise. Thus… I made the first step and didn't accept to tutor my colleague's niece, because I barely had time to the other two kids that I've been helping. It was very hard and I really hope that my colleague didn't mind, but it was one of the first times when I said no. I felt guilty and relieved at the same time (I know it's contradictory, it will often happen that I write contradictory things, I apologise in advance because of this bad habit). Of course I recommended someone else, and I know that I made the right choice.

All in all, Chrissy's thoughts on 'saying no' are the following: as difficult as it is, you need to start saying it, in order to be able to concentrate on your own tasks, problems. You need to tell yourself that it is not your job to handle other people's problems, maybe just some of them:). I know that they will repay you with kindness, and sometimes even a smile, or the thought that you did something for someone else can be rewarding. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you should stop helping out others, just try not to go to extremes. Try to finish your own tasks first and then take on just as many other tasks as you are able to finish without having to skip meals, or have enough sleep. That's all for now, till next time.

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