The Power of Now Now

The Power of "Not Now"

coach happiness happinessatwork highperformance leadership mindful priority wellbeing wellbeingatwork worklifebalance Jan 18, 2024

When you say “Yes” to everything, and drop what you were doing to serve someone else, you could end up sacrificing your time and energy. Because this “Yes” could mean putting off the things you had planned. And it means less time for yourself, whether it's your lunch break or your personal time in the evening.

I'm not writing this Blog Post for you to be more rebellious or encourage excessive use of this phrase at the workplace or in your daily life. It's merely a friendly suggestion to help you prioritize better and utilize it to your advantage. Prioritize what truly matters to you and don't be afraid to say “Not Now” when it's necessary and appropriate. And for this to be an inspiration to introduce being more mindful during your day. 



"Not Now" doesn't mean “No”, it means that you will do them after your priorities, or after the more time-sensitive projects. This means that it's always important to know what the time sensitivity is. If they say it has 2 hours turnaround time, then the question is why did they not ask it earlier? And if it is an "urgent and unforeseen case" then of course what needs to be done, needs to be done and you will be part of the solution. If the person coming to you for an urgent ask, is simply disorganized and only now realizing that something needs to be done, it's clear that they are trying to pass the problem onto you.

I'd like to share a quote from Brendon Burchard. He advises not to apologize for saying “Not Now” or "No". This is a scenario when someone asks you to "squeeze in" a project or to take on something with urgency. And if that happens, and you don't have time for it, you can simply tell or email them the following:

“I already have other activities or projects that have been scheduled for a few weeks. I can’t drop those, or have you cut in line because of your last-minute request, that would be unthoughtful and unfair as others did plan way in advance”. There's no apology in here, just facts, and I love it. 

It's important to acknowledge of course, that in corporate settings, there are instances where we have no alternative but to respond with a "Yes," leaving no space for a "Not Now" option. It's something we encounter and we have to deal with. But it's still important to take note of when they occur and how frequently. Eventually, you'll find the right time and opportunity to share your feedback and shed light on the situation and what the consequences are for you.

As an employee, it's crucial for you to know your priorities. You need to identify the tasks that will make a significant impact and move things forward. Without a clear plan and knowledge of your most important and time-sensitive responsibilities, you'll find yourself overwhelmed by chaos. It becomes difficult to recognize when certain tasks can be put on hold because you're unsure of what holds greater importance. Consequently, you may end up sacrificing your personal time to catch up, eventually leading to frustration and even burnout.


Being more mindful

Whether you're an employee, a peer, or a leader, it's crucial to be mindful of how your actions (or non-actions) affect others. Neglecting your own well-being, by not prioritizing, can prevent others from achieving their own balance, especially when you are in a Leadership Position. Your team member may have resolutions and intentions to enhance their work-life balance, but if you, as their manager, don't provide the necessary support, their aspirations won't align with reality. It's important to recognize that your behavior, your actions, and your lack of prioritization can act as significant barriers, hindering the progress of your team or having negative effects to the entire organization.

I hope that this has provided you with valuable insights. It's important to take the time to prioritize effectively and be mindful of how not-prioritizing can affect things. Remember to be courageous and use the "Not Now" option when necessary and appropriate.


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