Is your world as noisy as mine is right now? You find yourself clambering for quiet? You know it’s bad when all you want is a quiet space where you can just be still.
It’s no wonder why David wrote in Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.” Literally, stop trying so hard and know how much I am capable.
Jeff Walker says, “Every yes must be defended by a thousand no’s”.
We work incessantly, unstoppable, and hard, but there are some things we should be doing in our lives to minimize. Let’s help get some clarity in our calamity by saying no to some things.
1) Junk mail. This sounds funny and almost superficial but unsubscribe to some of your ad mail. I spend about 10 minutes every week going through and unsubscribing. It helps me feel less cluttered and more streamlined. My wife has a terrible time with this. At one point she had over 50,000 emails in her inbox that were predominantly junk. Don’t let that happen, say no to junk mail you don’t need and stop the bleeding.
2) Unnecessary meetings. There are times that my work week feels like I’m going to be strangled by meetings. The biggest deterrent to meetings is that your workload doesn’t diminish, you meet and come out with more work than relieving yourself of work. Before you say yes to another meeting ask yourself, is there a simpler way to get this done? Can I do this over the phone, email, text?
Could what you need to meet about be accomplished through a simple hallway conversation than a sit-down meeting? The next thing you should do is demand an agenda for any meeting you accept. If it’s not clear what’s going to be discussed maybe you don’t even need to be there.
3) Unnecessary purchases. Do you realize how many things we end up talking ourselves into buying? We end up wasting a lot of money simply because we’ve talked ourselves into “needing” something that we’ve lived without for a long time. Say “no” now, so you can say “yes” to something better, later.
4) Say no to drugs. Felt I should just go ahead and add that here. D.A.R.E comes to mind and the bumper stickers of the late 90’s. Remember those? McGruff was the dog’s name, wasn’t it? There, you just took a trip down memory lane with me…you’re welcome
5) A Playdate. Really do you need another opportunity for your kids to connect? Now don’t get me wrong, if this is where you thrive than by all means, give it a go. But seriously, if this has become the thing you loathe and detest, then, by all means, give yourself the freedom to decline.
Let me give you a bit of freeing truth you don’t need an excuse to say no! Believe that today. Notice I said, a play date, not all of them. You know what your kids and yourself can handle, stay in that zone and don’t go overboard.
6) Say no to believing lies. What does that mean? A lot our time can be wrapped up in believing things that simply are not true. We occupy much of ourselves in things we think people are saying about us. Some even begin to adjust their lives to what they think people are believing and saying.
The simple reality is that the only people in your life that should really matter what their opinion of you is, your spouse, your kids and your Father in Heaven. As for the rest, stop believing the lies and be confident in who God created you to become.
7) Other people’s problems. Just because they choose to share it with you doesn’t mean you need to own it. Simply allow their problems to be just that, their problems. While the goodness of God gives us the ability to care for people, it does not necessitate our owning their stuff. One of my favorite phrases–> Your crisis does not mean my emergency.
8) Say no, to more time on Facebook. I’m not sure this even needs words. Nothing wrong with social media, apart from the place where it makes you feel like less of a person because you’ve started comparing your life with someone else’s highlights.
9) Laundry. I know, I know, it still has to be done, but for this moment, embrace the NO.
10) Leading in everything rather than just attending. Consider just being an attender or participant for a time. Retract some of your “yes to the place where you can just refuel your soul. It’s that important. “