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Just say “No”

September 4, 2015

Do you know individuals who almost seem to brag about their jam packed schedules? And then want you to say how “tough” it must be and have you admire them as “superheroes” for doing so much?

Unfortunately…for them… I am not that compassionate. Anyone looking for sympathy will have to go elsewhere. I am actually rather calloused and after one of the “life-is-so-busy” recitals. I think of saying something like, “Well, there is a little word you could use. Its spelled N-O.”

On Sunday, my wife and I faced a potential “crazy schedule” day. After the morning church service from 10:00-11:30 am, we could join others at Kiever’s Lake for a church picnic scheduled to start at 1:00 pm. Then we could come home in time for my wife and the girls go to a bridal shower from 3-5 pm. Then at 5 pm we could go to a family birthday celebration til Sarah would drop myself and the kiddos off at home and go to the airport to pick up our incoming homestay student who’s flight arrives at 9:00 pm in Calgary (about 75 minutes away). As we discussed Sunday plans the night before, neither of us feeling 100% in terms of physical health, we decided “no, we are not going to try to do everything.” It would not be good for us, for our children who start school this week, or for any of the other people involved.

So, we simply came home after church. Actually, our son Caleb went with a relative to the church picnic and then we met him back at the family birthday celebration. Sarah and I and the girls had a quick lunch and then we had a restful couple hours before the females went off to the bridal shower. We then went to the family birthday celebration and afterwards I settled the kids into bed while Sarah headed off to pick up our homestay student at the airport. It was a busy enough day as it was. Yet just saying “no” to the picnic gave us the break in the day to be able to participate in those activities and have enough physical and emotional energy to enjoy them.

In my current employment with Don MacDonald of ReMax Real Estate Central Alberta (, I have come across the training of Brian Buffini. He would summarize it this way: “Prioritize your people (relationships) so you can prioritize your time so you can prioritize your activities.”

If you fail to prioritize what is important and necessary in your life, you may go from activity to activity doing many things and meeting many people, but not actually accomplishing much. It seems obvious and yet for whatever reason(s) – fear, people pleasing, etc – it is horrifying and sad that some adults cannot “Just say no.”


From → Leadership

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