Category Archives: Priorities

Saying No

I received a phone call that impressed me. It was like this:

“Richard, I’m afraid I can’t help with the project like we had planned. Some things have come up, and I no longer have the time. I just wanted to let you know. If I can help in the future, I’ll call you again.”

Flakiness is so common, but here is a guy who didn’t flake out. He communicated “no” just as clearly as he had communicated “yes”. I no longer had to wonder.

“No” isn’t mean or rude. If you can’t realistically commit, “no” is courteous.

“No” is a way of prioritizing. If you say “yes” to everything, you haven’t prioritized.

As someone who tends to say yes and overcommit, I’m impressed by this example of saying no.

What we measure with time

Distance
From Jerry Seinfeld:

You can measure distance by time. “How far away is it?” “Oh about 20 minutes.” But it doesn’t work the other way. “When do you get off work?” “Around 3 miles.”

Serving size
Get out your stopwatch. Each serving of PAM No-Stick Cooking Spray is “about 1/3 second.”

Nutrition Facts on a can of Pam

Priorities
Where we spend our time indicates what is important to us. Do you spend enough time with your family and close friends? Do you spend more time reading books or blogs? TV or exercise? Do important projects get enough attention or is your time eaten up by unimportant tasks?

From Henry David Thoreau (via Quoty):

It is not enough to be busy; so are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?