As I mentioned in the previous post, I have, over my adult lifetime, always struggled with telling people if I didn’t want to take on a project for them, whether it was baking a cake for a charity event or leading a class or sewing… Because I love quilting and sewing, people naturally assume I can just whip something up for them, and that I will enjoy doing it.
The opposite is usually the case. I don’t enjoy taking on freebie projects from other people. I don’t want to hem your pants; there are people who actually enjoy doing that. Now, I’m not saying that if a friend came over and a button popped off their coat, that I would tell them to sew their own silly button on. I’m a little too helpful for that to happen. And, I have, when my sons were in theatre, happily sewed and altered and created costumes. But, I’ll get back to why I started this post.
A phrase I learned recently, that has helped me not take on too many projects is really pretty simple.
“Not this year.” Or, this week or this month. Let me give you a few scenarios.
Someone approaches me and says, “Hey, you would be so good at …this. I thought of you immediately.”
First off, I get a nice little ego stroke. Yes, you are right…I would be good at that. Sure, I’ll find the time.
What’s wrong with that? Nothing is really wrong. But, I didn’t run it up the flagpole, to see if that ‘job, task, mission,’ was in line with my goals and mission in life.
We can become so busy with other people’s missions for us, that we lose the time and focus for the mission planted in our own hearts. Or, we become so busy with someone else’s to-do list, so we can avoid ours.
So, here are a few phrases that might help you, if you are becoming overwhelmed with your own projects or someone else’s.
“Not this year.”
”You know, that sounds like a great idea, but I’m not taking on any new projects this year (month, week.)”
”I’d love to help, but that doesn’t line up with my mission.”
”Yes, I would be good at that, but I’m working on some other things right now.”
Isn’t that better, than taking on someone else’s mission for you, and then becoming bitter about it because you agreed without really analyzing whether it fits in your schedule, your life, with your goals; whether those be personal or business? Isn’t that better than fretting about what kind of excuse to come up with so they don’t think you don’t want to help?
Thanks for thinking of me.
Not this time. Not this year. Not this quarter.
Remember that phrase. Try it out. Take it for a spin.
And thanks for stopping by. If you wonder why I started this blog, zip back to that post, Why a blog?
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