When we are feeling overwhelmed (and I’m a pro at periodically overloading my plate), odds are it’s because we are giving too many bad yes’s and no’s. To get back on track, we need more good yes’s and no’s.
The good yes is to something we are capable of, interested in, and excited to do.
The bad yes is something we can’t do, aren’t interested in, and dread starting.
The good no is to something we can’t do, aren’t interested in, and would dread starting.
The bad no is to something we are capable of, interested in, and would be excited to do.
Realistically, not everything on our calendar is going to be something we can do perfectly, are fascinated by, and can’t wait to start. But, if the majority of what’s there and what we are actively adding fits that description, we’ll feel a lot less overwhelmed and a lot more excited to take on the future.
It also ensures we do more of our best work and less of the “I guess I have to do this now” drudgery. Why say yes to things we’ll only put a fraction of ourselves into? When they ask the question, we qualify our yes or no. It’s a tiny habit of making small classifications with big upside.