If you don’t curb your time, your events and responsibilities tend to overflow. Some people have no idea what it means to respect each other’s time, and if you don’t teach them that it means something to you, then you really can’t blame them. Meanwhile, your resentment builds. The exhausted rush between events because you couldn’t say no or couldn’t leave on time, the frantic feeling in your head and the constant apologizing gets tiring. It’s compound interest on lost time that you pay.
Of course anyone can do that technically tolerate – much like stress, overwork and sub-optimal health – but instead of feeling like a time martyr and idling, why not choose a better way out?
Yes, you could have been raised to say yes to everyone and didn’t know how to say no, let alone have it permit to say no And yes, sometimes it is only that daily five minutes or weekly two hours. But the time-energy ratio is disproportionate. If you’re dreading that call, rolling your eyes (and judging yourself for it), exhausted, and brooding about it — then it’s five minutes hardly only five minutes.
Just because there’s that empty space on your calendar doesn’t mean it needs to be filled. Your time isn’t a take-out sidewalk buffet for anyone to grab. As psychotherapist Terri Cole once pondered, what if the burnout epidemic really is an epidemic of bad boundaries?