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Know Your Limits and Retain Your Sanity This Holiday Season

by Jill Frank

You know the look -- and it is coming straight for you. Someone is going to ask you to do something. Before this person can even get their request out, your mind is racing for a plausible excuse, never pausing to actually consider the truth. It could be as simple as purchasing a gift or as complex as coordinating the holiday program, but you just can't take on one more task. And for some reason, that doesn't seem to be a good enough reason to say no.

As if you don't have enough on your to-do list, throw in the holidays and you can quickly become inundated. With shopping, decorating, parties and family get-togethers, how can you possibly complete everything on your to-do list while retaining your sanity? I have found over the years that the biggest cause of being overscheduled is our inability to say no. Whether it is out of guilt, a sense of obligation, or the desire to avoid hurt feelings, we say yes when we really shouldn't.

Are you a "yes" person? If you are overwhelmed, overscheduled and frustrated, you probably are. If so, don't feel bad -- you're in good company - few of us have mastered this ability. But it's time to start because no one benefits when you take on more than you can handle -- especially you.

What are your limits? How much more can you handle over and above what is already on your plate? What can be put on hold to make time for your immediate priorities? Review your calendar for the month and make a note of any down time you have. If you are willing and able to fill it, schedule the most important activities that you can't or don't want to miss. Just make sure you don't become the dumping ground for someone else's unnecessary, undesirable responsibilities. It's better to do two or three things really well than ten things second-rate.

Before you say yes to anything new ask yourself the following questions:

* Is this something I really want to do?
* Will this benefit me or my family?
* Is this the best use of my time?
* Will my career, my family or I be negatively affected if I say no? (Don't say yes just to make someone else happy.)
* Is it the right thing to do?

You don't have to feel guilty about saying no. It's not your responsibility to take up the slack for those around you. Say yes to what's important and let the rest go. And remember, there is a light at the end of the tunnel -- January is right around the corner. Your Assignment:

Stop being a YES person! Before taking on another responsibility or attending another party, ask yourself if it is truly something you want to do; will it benefit you or your family; is it the best use of your time; will it help advance your career; will you, your career, or your family be negatively affected if you say no; or is it the right thing to do? If the answer is yes, go ahead. If not, politely decline and move on.

Copyright © 2007. Jill Frank & Associates. All Rights Reserved.

Jill Frank may be contacted at jill@jillfrankassoc.com. Jill Frank is "The Promotion Coach" and mother of three. Are ready to be a mom that has it all - a great family life AND a successful career - with less stress and guilt? Start by getting her FREE checklist, "75 Ways to Take Better Care of Yourself" and FREE special report, Five Strategies that will Positively Impact Your Career" at www.leverageyourtalent.com/working_mothers.htm.

Categories: Just for me, Take Care of You,

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