Set Yes Priorities – And Know When To Say No [Get Organized Mission #35]

Get Organized Mission #35

Welcome to Mission #35 of our 52 Get Organized Missions.

I hope you had fun completing the previous mission Get Organized Mission 34: Donate 50 Things. It’s a good mission to remind us to keep things simple and prioritise.

One of the common obstacles to an organized life is having too many priorities. If you can’t get organized because you’re overwhelmed by the demands of your life, then this mission is perfect for you.

Remember: you only need 30 minutes for the basic mission. Extended Options are below.

If you’re new, you might like to start here -> 52 Organizing Missions.

Organizing Mission #35: Set ‘Yes’ Priorities

Step 1: Choose your ‘Yes’ priorities (15 minutes)

Choose 5-7 areas that are important to you at the moment. They don’t have to be lifelong priorities – just things that matter to you now. You’ll need to revisit them regularly.

For instance, your list of priorities could look something like this:

  1. Spend quality time with my kids
  2. Improve my health and fitness
  3. Have a good relationship with my partner
  4. Develop my career/business
  5. Have a sense of fun
  6. Spend time on my photography hobby
  7. Make a contribution to help deal with poverty.

Step 2: Parse requests, tasks and opportunities through the ‘Yes’ filter (15 minutes)

Take a look at your schedule and to-do list. Be on the lookout for any items that don’t contribute to your priorities.

For instance:

  • Cooking elaborate dinners that don’t relax you and aren’t meaningful to your family
  • Attending business events that don’t help your career or business
  • Going out with friends who aren’t fun
  • Going shopping for nothing in particular
  • Subscribing to magazines on topics you’re only half-interested in
  • Working with charities you’re not passionate about
  • Watching poor-quality TV programs.

Getting crystal clear about your priorities in this way will make it much easier to decide when to say yes to the opportunities in your life – and, perhaps more importantly, when to say no.

It will also help you slash things off your to-do list. For instance, you might decide to:

  • Delete outstanding tasks
  • Not renew current commitments
  • Be more mindful when accepting new requests.

How organized does that feel!

Dos & Don’ts

  • Time is precious – so do be ruthless about protecting your ‘yes’ priorities.
  • Do be kind and sensitive when declining invitations. Good options could be ‘No, thank you’ or ‘I’m fully committed at the moment’.
  • Don’t feel too bad about saying no. You might be setting a wonderful example for someone else to focus on their own ‘yes’ priorities.

Extended Organizing Mission Options

Want to go beyond this 30-minute organizing mission?

  • Role play saying no with grace and sensitivity. Ask a friend to play the asker, and practice declining with kindness and confidence.
  • Complete the mission as a family. Share your priorities, and help each other identify the yes and no items in your diaries and task lists.

Ready, Set, Go!

Remember – move quickly, act fast, don’t overthink.

Start The 30-Minute Timer

Before You Go: Check In!

Please add a comment to say you’ve completed this week’s Get Organized Mission and you’re keeping your commitment.

And see you back here next week!

Did You Know

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Click here to sign up for 52 Organizing Missions.

[Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/abhi_ryan/ / CC BY 2.0]

Michele Connolly

Michele Connolly is into writing, books, simplicity, love, TV, productivity, and staying thin in a world of chocolate.

7 thoughts on “Set Yes Priorities – And Know When To Say No [Get Organized Mission #35]

  1. Pingback: Coaching Organizes | John Parker Live

  2. FLO says:

    Can’t recall ever having a problem deciding what was important and what wasn’t. Likewise, never blindly accept what others want. Still looking for anything in this site that might be new to me. So far, nada.

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