Leadership, Morning Motivators, Motivation, Success, Time Management
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How to say NO, like a CEO!

“If I had only one hour to save the world, I would spend fifty-five minutes defining the problem, and only five minutes finding the solution.”

Some credit this to Einstein, and it seems to be unclear who said it, however, it’s a valuable statement.

I went for breakfast with a CEO friend of mine this week and we talked about one of the biggest areas of growth for professionals.
Some people may call this time management.
But its really around two areas of focus:
1. Saying NO….with grace
2. Matching what you are spending time on to your PRIORITIES
If you are not crystal clear on your priorities, it’s hard to know – what to say NO too.
It’s really important to know what you are COMMITTED to AND what you are NOT.
What did we come up with?
1. Get clear on your priorities (Annual, Quarter, Monthly, Weekly)
2. Review step 1 and evaluate where you are spending time in the upcoming week against them
3. Be really clear on what you are not committed too
4. Anything not supporting step 1…say NO
How do you say NO?
  • Once you are really clear on what you are AND are not committed to, it becomes much easier.
  • Like learning to ski, ride a bike or skate…just get out their and practice
  • Help find other people are better suited to handle the request than you.
How do you prioritize?
  • Layer important ongoing meetings at the start of the year or quarter into your calendar first. The most important meetings should be first. Your boss, your people, your partners, your family, your health, including time to think!
  • Layer in the next priority of people to get your work and life done…every two weeks, monthly or quarterly.
  • Book your calendar two weeks ahead so you know the road in front of you.
  • Re-prioritize the next week ahead on Friday afternoon or Sunday afternoon
  • Re-prioritize Tuesday evening for the last half of the week
As my friend said, “if people spent a lot more time prioritizing, they would end up doing less and have more time on the important nuggets.”
Learn from a CEO on how to get it done!


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