I’ve started to read Getting Things Done again and within the first few pages I’ve been struck with one thought.

People don’t say no enough

Let’s look at a few of my highlights already. All the emphasis is mine.

…people have enhanced quality of life, but at the same time they are adding to their stress levels by taking on more than they have resources to handle.

Most people I know have at least half a dozen things they’re trying to achieve right now.

I have more than half a dozen ideas

Currently I have 5 products I want to do and that’s without digging in to my notes on ideas I have thought of. I could run in a flurry between each product but that would mean I make no real progress on any of them.

I could have 10 projects right now

In the last 4 weeks I’ve turned down or referred about 5 projects that were totally something I could do and some were for clients I’ve worked with before. I could be way busier than I am.

Truth be told, I have said yes to 2 projects that I shouldn’t have (decent clients decent work, just not quite what I want to be doing). I’m still working through it like you.

The power of NO

As I talk more and more with freelancer’s the biggest issue I see is that they don’t say no enough. I just said above I don’t say no enough. Look at my post yesterday about The Good Reader.

When you’re starting you may need to say yes to everthing. You don’t have a name yet and you don’t have a constant stream of work coming in so you have to take what you can get. You’re running in survival mode.

The problem is that you never got out of ‘survival mode’ and you need to. Once you’ve got a bit of a name, work will come. You don’t need to say yes to every little project that comes along.

You need to say yes to the projects that interest you and that fit your skills.

photo credit: Vicki & Chuck Rogers via photopin cc