Do you want to know the most valuable commodity you have? Your time. With it, you have the space and capacity to do anything.

So, how are you spending yours? Are you valuing it and using it wisely (and by wisely I mean on things you want to do)? Or, are you stretched thin from always doing favors for others.

I’ll be clear. There’s nothing wrong with doing favors. Its a wonderful thing to do, but when you find yourself never having time to do the things that make you happy and fulfilled, you run the risk of suffering from chronic self neglect.

Ask yourself….

What would you do if you had an extra 2 free hours in your day? Cook more. Spend time with family. Take a course. Learn a new skill. Sleep. Shop. Exercise.

Getting Comfortable With Saying, “No”

Now is as good a time as any to take control of your time starting by getting comfortable with the word, “no”. For example, if someone asks, “Would you mind doing XYZ?”, say “no”. It may feel difficult at first, but if you genuinely would rather not do it, then you owe it to yourself to let them know. You can be courteous about it too. Try helping them find someone else who could do it instead, or maybe offer to help in some other way that doesn’t feel like an infringement on your time.

Too Hard To Say No?

If saying “no” is too hard to do, and you’re going to force yourself to do it anyway, try creating “buffer time” instead. Master success and personal growth coach, Christian Mickelsen says that buffer time allows you the space to avoid feeling too pressured and stressed. This is another way to set boundaries up front.

Its important to know that you have a right to spend your time as you choose.

Build Those “No” Muscles

Now it’s time to put this into practice. Start doing so by saying no to the next 3 requests. Then, start building “buffer time” into projects and requests. Before long, you’ll get to see how people react when you tell them no and feel better knowing that you have the backbone to say and do how you feel.


Read More: How To Reclaim Your Time (And Sanity) Without Feeling Guilty