This week is national “Simplify Your Life” week. I know, I know, easier said than done, right? Each day, I’ll share with you a tip to make your life just a little bit easier. UPDATE: I clearly overcommitted by promising I would post daily during SYL week. I said No 🙂 

Keep Calm And Just Say No sign

Just Say “No.” 

Nancy Reagan has been saying it for three decades. Do no overcommit. You might be someone who really want to always help others out – A for Effort! But if you spread yourself to thin, you’re eventually going to disappoint someone.

Be realistic with your schedule and your time guesstimates. If you have an appointment on one side of town that ends at 3:00, don’t commit to something on the other side of town at 3:15. You’re not going to make it!

A group with which I volunteer recently had a party for some of the clients. We were all asked to bring “something.” I looked at the list and immediately signed up for the easiest thing on there: cookies. Did I bake them at home? NOPE! 100% store-bought (though I did place them on a nice platter). Why? Because I knew that week was very busy.  To add buying ingredients, baking three different kinds of cookies, and transporting them to the event to an already crazy week would be a recipe for stress and disaster.

Essentially, it comes down to self-care. The busier you are (i.e. the more over-committed), the less time you will have to take care of yourself. I realize self-care seems like a millennial obsession but there is some solid thought behind it. Self-care prevents burnout, reduces the negative effects of stress, and will help you re-foucs. There are literally hundreds of articles available on self-care; I particularly like this article by Ellen Bard, “45 Simple Self-Care Practices for a Healthy Mind, Body, and Soul” because the suggestions don’t require extreme change.

It’s hard to say no but you have to take care of yourself first. Try it with me now: No.