When you say “yes” to small things, “you are saying “no” to your biggest priorities.
When you say “yes” to distractions, you are saying “no” to focus. The time you spend on distractions is time that is better invested in your greatest priorities. Maybe you say “yes” to distractions because you haven’t done enough work to know what deserves your time and attention. Or maybe you haven’t gone “all in” on going “all in.”
When you say “yes” to the tasks that aren’t really your work, you are saying “no” to more purposeful, more meaningful work. Saying “yes” to the inbox almost always means saying “no” to the work that produces the outcomes you need. Saying “yes” to cleaning your desk means saying “no” to spending that time with your clients or dream clients.
Saying “yes” to television means saying “no” to spending time developing yourself both personally and professionally. Saying “yes” to distraction and escapism is a “no” to improving the single asset you own free and clear, and the source of all your results.
Without a solid set of priorities, a set of tasks that need to be completed each day to move you closer to your goals, and time blocked to complete them, it is easy to drift. Idle hands aren’t the devil’s workshop; an empty calendar is.
Saying “yes” to all kinds of distractions and more trivial work can very easily crowd out your real priorities.
If you value your exceedingly limited time, you will protect it. If you want to accomplish your goals, reach your full potential, and make a difference, then you will say “no” to the countless small things to protect your time for the things to which you need to say “yes.”
Every “yes” requires one hundred “no’s.” If you say “yes,” make sure you aren’t saying “no” to something more important.