Just say “no”

The difference between successful people and very successful is that very successful people say “no” to almost everything ~ Warren Buffet

It’s no secret that among the first lessons of managing your time in the workplace is learning to say “no” to projects or work, if it will mean stretching yourself thin. It makes sense to focus on what you have in hand and do it well rather than take on too many projects and then fail at all of them. Ok, that may be an extreme case and may you succeed with some but then you’re left with no time for yourself and being constantly stressed out.

The truth is it’s easier said than done. I know there are books, articles and countless numbers of gurus out there who lecture us on this. In practice, the situation is not always that simple.

Sometimes it’s very hard to say “no” without being rude or sounding rude. These days organizations are complex and we often don’t have one single boss. We work in matrix of senior staff. When someone senior in the organization comes up to you and says, “would you kindly pretty please do this for me?”… what are you supposed to say… “No, I don’t have the time?”. I realize that there may be a better way of saying it but the truth is no matter how you sugarcoat it, the answer is still no and they will go back with some ill-feeling. Or they will think you’re trying to shirk responsibilities. (What’s keeping him / her so busy anyway?) Worse still… what if someday, you need this guy. People can bear a grudge.

I have known no way of handling such situations without either being passive-aggressive (say yes and do it when I can) or feeling some annoyance from the person asking. May be it’s my problem and I hope I can find a better way.

 

Obligation to help

Have you ever had a situation where you opted to help someone out of the goodness of your heart only to become a burden later on? Well, it just so happens that I’m stuck in such a situation. Someone I know asked me about something and I told him I could help him with the project. It turns out that the majority of this project has now become my responsibility. He’s putting deadlines and following up on them. Now, it seems that he’s forgotten that I told him I am willing to help him the best I can in my free time, which I have very little of these days. Despite me mentioning over and over that I’m working very late hours, have several projects going on at work and have to study for my upcoming exam in June, the guy is pushing me with unreasonable deadlines. My problem is that he is

July 19, 2016… Stronger wings?

I’m faced with an interesting situation. I just got a job offer… something that will uproot my life and make me have to move to a new country. It’s a fantastic offer. It put me two levels above where I am right now. It’s not ideal because it’s a smaller country and therefore, I smaller market but, the position is lucrative. With what I’ve been feeling about my current job, I should say yes in a heartbeat. But then it’s a lot of logistics to work out as well. I’m a single mother and we just got into a great school. Priorities change…So I’m confused.

I feel like if I were a man, I wouldn’t think twice about it. And this is probably why women don’t progress as much in their career, let alone single moms. But my gut says, yes. So I should seriously think about it. My favorite saying at one time used to be… “Jump of the bridge and make you’re wings on the way down”… life changes when you’re responsible for people other than yourself. I guess we don’t always have the luxury of jumping off the bridge. Planning becomes important and thinking twenty steps ahead becomes the norm. Still, I feel I can be brave and jump of that bridge….I’ll just have to make stronger wings on my way down.

July 14, 2016… back

I had been feeling very lost and stuck. I don’t know how better to describe it. So I decided to take a break from writing. I probably didn’t want to talk about my problems and I really wasn’t in a place to write about anything else either.

Writing is supposed to be an avenue for release and for me it has been in the past. But this time, not so much. So I thought instead of trying to force myself to say things that I didn’t want to say or try to write about things I didn’t feel like, I should just stay quiet.

After what seems like a really long hiatus, I feel like writing again. Sometimes I do question whether writing a blog is of any use but then I realise I enjoy doing it. I enjoy reading what other poeple have to say and I hope someone out there will like reading what I have to say.

So what have I been doing in the past few weeks…since I haven’t been writing?

For one thing, I’ve been brooding a lot. I realize that I’m not very happy with my job. When I joined this job, I thought I would be doing at least a few exciting deals. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that way anymore. I’m doing very basic, mundane work. Things I used to do 10 years ago. While it isn’t always a bad thing to go back to basics, I realize that I’m not really learning anything new. For me, that really sucks. I’m a person who just cannot sit still. So, it’s really annoying when I feel that I’m not adding any value with the knowledge I have and I’m not gaining anything either.

To fill the void, I have decided to focus on art again. It was one of my goals for the year. I used to be quite good at drawing and painting when I was teenager. And then I just gave it up because I didn’t have the time. Well, I’ve been out of practic so it’s taking sometime to get my creative juices flowing. I’m trying to be very patient. Here’s something very basic I did. I really hope I can keep it up and I hope I am back to blogging again.

Watercolor Flowers

Aug 14, 2015

It’s been a busy few days. Actually, I’ve just been trying to keep myself distracted. Going out a lot and also studying. All in the hopes that I will not think about the stuff I’m going through. 

Distractions are good. They let you focus on what’s not important. We don’t always realise how important or needed that may be in our lives. Sometimes, I think it’s important to just stop thinking so much about your problems and zone out. It’s easier to deal with the present and then when you do come back to reality, I guess enough time may have passed that you don’t feel it so badly any more. 

It’s not that easy…

The last two weeks have been particularly stressful for me on a personal level. You know how they say…. when it rains, it pours… I was going through something like that.

Bad news seemed to be coming at me from every which way and instead of opening up, I retreated into a dark place. I opened WordPress several times, started a new post and didn’t write a word. It isn’t always easy to put things into words. I admire people who can write through their pain and stress. I discovered it wasn’t such an easy task for me.

I have always been the kind of person that people lean on. Well, that just makes it harder for me to lean on others. I don’t know why. It’s not that I don’t have people more that willing to help, it’s just something even I don’t understand. I’m sure a psychologist would have terms to describe it.

Thankfully the clouds have lifted from some of my troubles and for the others I have accepted it and trying to move on. But, one thing’s for sure, it’s not that easy.