How to say no to protect your mental health and reclaim your time and priorities.
“Attention is a resource – a person has only so much of it.” – Matthew Crawford, Author and Motorcycle Mechanic
When we say “No” to something or someone, we are also saying “Yes” to our priorities.
- If you had more time, what would you do with it?
- Are you taking care of your health – physically and mentally?
- Do you get enough sleep?
- Do you have a creative outlet?
- What new activity would you like to try?
- What project would you like to finish?
- What relationship would you like to improve?
- Silence notifications on the phone, including texts – don’t let your phone interrupt your thoughts, creativity and conversation!
- Delete distracting apps– social media can be a huge drain on time and energy. Consider carefully which social media platform you really enjoy and delete the rest.
- Wear a wristwatch – not only is it retro-cool, it also helps to minimize the need to check your phone for the time, which can lead to a quick peek at your texts, emails, news feeds, social media…
- Install Adblock on your Chrome browser – avoid ads and targeted marketing with this popular, free Chrome extension.
- Limit your news intake – be selective about the news you read or watch. Often it is a litany of bad news or irrelevant information that drains your energy.
- Read paper books – e-books are great but they also increase your screen time.
- Go for an old-fashioned, phone-free walk – invite a good friend for an outing without your phones. Walk and talk without the distraction of checking your phones or taking pictures. Focus on each other and appreciate your surroundings!
- Less stress – avoiding over commitment and too much stimuli will lessen your load.
- Increase focus – removing distractions means you can focus on your goals and things that really matter to you.
- Gain personal strength – saying no gives you control over your life. Interestingly, when you set clear and firm boundaries, people actually respect you more.
- More time – saying no to unimportant things means you make time for the things that give you meaning or joy.
- Less is more – decluttering your life leads to clarity of purpose and a more intentional and enjoyable life.
Wiley is a long-time North Vancouver resident. She works as a technical writer and is the current newsletter editor for the North Shore Writers’ Association. She spends her free time feeding her twin passions of creative writing and hiking. She recently discovered a potential third passion - the pottery studio at the Delbrook Community Recreation Centre.