Seems like Jim Rohn was the first person I recall hearing it from, and it still stings when I catch myself hearing it again now and then: “Every time you say ‘Yes’ to someone, you’re saying ‘No’ to someone else.”
It’s about being able to deliver on promises that you’ve already made – including promises to yourself.
Saying “Yes” is a promise, after all. It’s a promise to deliver a product or service, or to spend time with someone – be it business or pleasure.
Jim talks about saying “No” to more things so that you can say “Yes” to the really important things. Regardless of what those things are, that’s likely what most people want.
It’s something I’ve struggled with on and off for some time. The cures come incrementally. Occasionally, the stumbles are large, but they always come with a lesson, kinda like a face plant teaches you a little about skiing:) Other times, they cost me a few hours of sleep with little or no harm done.
I think it always comes down to focus. When focus is lost – or on the way to being lost, too many Yes’s come out. When that happens, focus can become even harder to rein in.
It’s one of the reasons I recommend a regular (quarterly) reading of The Power of Focus: How to Hit Your Business, Personal and Financial Targets with Absolute Certainty.
Read it, dog ear the crud out of it and follow the processes it defines. Get over the fact that the Chicken Soup guys were part of the project. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater on this one.
If it helps you 1/10th of the way it does me, it’ll do you good.