Many years ago, back in my corporate days, I was part of a management team and responsible for running a large contact centre.
One day, there was an emergency meeting to discuss an incident that had happened earlier in the day. The meeting started at 5pm and my shift had finished at 4.
I stayed on because, as a new manager to the department, I was driven by what other people would think if I didn’t stay.
What I hadn’t mentioned was that it was my birthday and that evening my partner had arranged to take me out to dinner to my favourite restaurant.
At 6pm the meeting was still going, by which time I was chunnering away to myself but still not speaking up. When I finally got out of the meeting, I had to go straight to the restaurant in my work clothes.
The evening was ruined but not by the fact I had no time to get ready but because of my complaining about having to stay late.
The truth was I didn’t have to stay late – I chose to stay late. I chose to go to the meeting. I was motivated by what I thought people may think about me if I didn’t. I just wasn’t taking responsibility for the choice I had made.
Oh how I wish I had valued myself then in my corporate role as I do today and known more about who I really was.
In our busy lives there are so many choices and only a finite amount of time to make the most of them. When we say “yes” to something often we need to be saying “no” to something else. The problem is we often just keep saying “yes” to everything and then lose our life balance.
Honouring our time is a way of honouring our self. So is saying “no”.
I have a lot of women clients in the helping profession who are so used to giving time to everyone else. They say “yes” to “have you got a minute?” when they haven’t even got a minute for themselves.
It can have quite an impact once they start adding a few simple “not now” or “I haven’t” in response to those questions that aren’t a matter of life or death.
Time is precious and worth valuing. How are you doing on valuing your time in your life? Answers on a postcard… only, of course, if you have the time.
Denise Chilton is an Executive Business and Life coach, accomplished author, speaker and entrepreneur. She worked for in corporate banking for more than 15 years before launching her own coaching business in 2010. She has built a business working with women who want to make a change in their lives, empowering them to experience life to the full.
In 2017, she published her first book Suddenly Single: How to overcome heartbreak and find your way to a new happy ever after. Suddenly Single is a guide written partially from personal experience to help women to heal healthily after a significant relationship comes to an unexpected end.
Denise was also awarded ‘Mentor of the Year 2017’ by the Northern Power Women for her work with women in underrepresented industries like STEM.