I don’t know about you but I do too much. Always. Even when I’m consciously trying to do less. I blurt out yes, offering my help without thinking. I want to help, I do, but time and again it derails me. I end up flitting between minor tasks, never getting to, or through, the bigger, more important ones.
Through the books Essentialism1 and Deep Work2 I’ve come to realise that if you don’t take control of your time others will do it for you. It’s essential to focus on only one or two things for a while to the exclusion of all others if you want to make progress on things that are most important to you.
It doesn’t matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop - Confucius
Derek Sivers, in his short post Hell Yeah, says you should analyse all the things and only do them if it’s a Hell Yeah and not if it’s only a Yes.
I don’t think it needs to be an outright No. Or at least, a No is not a Never. So how about a Not Now? Saying, not now is not a no. It’s a holding pattern which allows you to keep on track but without dismissing it outright.