Are you a “Trekkie?” You know, a Star Trek fan? Then you are well aware that people for centuries have been theorizing ways to travel back through time or forward. You’re probably among them. From theories of bending gravitational fields to scrutinizing over black holes, everyone at one point has wished we could have changed one thing in the past.
And this is precisely why some of us value the one resource in our lives that we can never replace and get back— time. A tabloid recently posted an article claiming that Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt were both “racing against time” to try and look younger for their roles in “Go Like Hell,” their new movie that is in development. Though, it seems that time isn’t valuable simply because we want to grow old gracefully. Time is precious for all of us, especially being that most of us who live in the U.S. work longer hours than our counterparts in other countries. According to a recent ABC article, Americans work more than anyone. The Bureau of Labor Statistics tracked this trending through the 1990s and reported that a whopping “25 million Americans (20.5 percent of the total work force) worked at least 49 hours a week in 1999. Eleven million of those said they worked more than 59 hours a week.”
What does this mean? If you count from the time we get up to begin our workday and also count our commute to work; approximately 10-12 hours of our day is designated to work, and for some of us that number is even higher. Then you factor in at least 8 hours of sleep, if you even get that much. That’s already 20 hours of our day. That means we have about 4 hours a day for ourselves, that’s even if we get that, especially if you have kids, dogs, a spouse / partner or other responsibilities. You tack on maybe 1 hour at the gym if you are great with time management and you are capable of sticking to a disciplined regiment. Then, that really leaves you approximately 3 hours for yourself. I suppose that’s enough time to at least watch one movie or catch up on a show you DVR’d, that’s if you’re not breaking up fights between kids, giving your dog a flea bath or bringing your work home with you because you have pressing deadlines you still have to get to. And that’s not even factoring in dinner.
You may not have time at all for yourself. By the end of the week, you’re begging for a day to sleep, and that’s if you’re not already booked solid to work through the weekend on even more projects. These days, no matter who I talk to, it seems that more and more of us are not just piling but dumping truck-loads of activities, projects, meetings and work onto our plates.
That’s why it’s imperative we choose wisely what we accept. Are you a people pleaser, a “yes” person? Do you agree to take on way more than you should and you catch yourself rarely saying “no?” If so, you need to take a step back and look at what you are signing yourself up for. Don’t sign up for anything unless you read all the fine print and you know what it entails. And once you start saying “no,” be prepared to get some push back, especially from those closest to you. If you are used to being that sweet person that says “sure” to everyone and then suddenly you’re telling relatives, friends, and even that BFF, “Hey, sorry but I just don’t have the time.” You better be prepared for them to NOT get it.
We are all a little selfish. But, there are some people out there who if you give an inch they’ll take a mile. They’ll take and take and take. They’ll want more and continue to expect things from you and until you put your foot down, they’ll always continue to try and see how much they can get out of you.
There comes a time, when you become a pushover and you have to learn to say, “No, I can’t.” You have to be willing to say, “I am busy, sorry.” Loved ones tend to be the most difficult clients to work with, like 99.9% of the time. That’s why some smart business owners/entrepreneurs will never hire loved ones. They will not work with close family members or deal with anything that involves two very important things vital to our survival in this world: work and money. Want to get into an argument, fast? All it takes is a situation involving work and money, mix those two things up with a relative or a loved one, you’ve got yourself a volcano ready to explode. That’s all it takes right there, those two things.
Be wary of pushy, bossy, short-tempered relatives or close loved ones, especially if you are typically the “nice guy.” You need to put your foot down or they’ll continue to think they can push you around. It’s not enough that you’ve helped out in a pinch and cut them a break. But when you are busy you are busy. You can’t be everything for everyone. We’d like to think that we’re super human, but we’re just not. Look at our schedules. Some of us are working two or three jobs, especially in the creative field. Have you become too selfless? If so, maybe it’s time you give yourself back the respect you deserve. Sometimes, it’s okay to be selfish, especially when it is imperative.
It’s okay to put yourself first once in a while instead of putting everyone’s needs above your own. And if there are those in your life who cannot understand that, and start to even put you down or go as far as to get verbal with you, cut them out, at least temporarily. Why, but they’re your “blood,” they’re “family” or they’re your “BFF!?!?” Because, you don’t need that type of negativity weighing you down, that’s why! Some of us struggle everyday to stay positive and keep a smile on our face. Some of us battle with depression, and so just when you’re mustering enough strength to face down your own negative voices the last thing you need is someone else coming along to add to the negativity you’re already having difficulty warding off.
You got to ask yourself one important question: How important is your time? If it is at all important, you have no more time to waste. Loved ones, best friends, close acquaintances – they don’t matter because they are often the worst culprits to sucking you dry. Sometimes separating yourself from all the ugliness and bad energy is better for your mental health and well being then trying to always please everyone and “fix it.”
This entry was posted in Relationships and tagged Always Saying Yes, Brad Pitt, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Burn Out, Can't Say No, Family & Friends, Home & Life, People Pleasers, Relationships, Self Help, Tom Cruise.