“Learn to say ‘no’ to the good so you can say ‘yes’ to the best.”
- John C. Maxwell
One thousand, four hundred and forty minutes from now another day of your life will be over.
The question is not how much life you have left.
My question to you today is: how many of those 1440 minutes are going to matter?
And how many of them will you waste on things you do not want to do, and do not need to do?
Your life matters.
Your time matters.
And if your commitment “bucket” is overflowing to the point where you cannot do what matters to you - you need to empty it. There are only two ways to do this. You either have to:
- Remove a current commitment from the bucket or
- Decline new commitments as they come in
Breaking a commitment is very difficult – but nobody likes turning down commitments either when they know it will hurt other people’s feelings.
And don’t I know it - I used to be tremendously overcommitted.
However, today I shall share with you my genuine, and very successful method of saying “No” without (hopefully!) souring a relationship: The Empathy Sandwich.
Why A Sandwich?
It occurred to me there had to be a better way than bluntly saying no to people. I was turning it over in my head when I remembered a strategy I used for delivering criticism: the criticism sandwich.
The basic premise of a criticism sandwich is that to make criticism easier to swallow, you “sandwich” it between two pieces of praise.
I figured if it’s good enough for criticism, maybe it’s good enough for turning down commitments as well.
Read the full article: How To Say No With The Empathy Sandwich