Strengthen Your No Muscle and Preserve Your Energy

Nov 13 / Whitney Gaffari

Calling all people pleasers, recovering perfectionists and self-made superheroes. Today’s post is for you. Made by...you.

Well, not specifically, but I am definitely a card caring member of the club. Even during the times I thought I shredded my membership card years ago. 
As an African American womxn it is so hard for me to to know where my natural boundaries and limits lie because society has dictated that I work harder for less. Respectability politics says that I take on these challenges with a smile to demonstrate I am capable. Perhaps you’ve felt this way too?
I am so guilty of feeding the toxic narrative that a “real leader” is capable of doing it all. What’s one more task? My fear of asking for help is fueled by the same narrative that I will look as though I’m not capable of running my own business, being a good friend, or partner if I ask for help or say no. 
We have to let this go. I have to let this go. 
I have been working on this and really finding the strength in being able to let go of what doesnt serve me and only dwelling in the spaces that do. Professionally, that looks like operating in my genius zone, and outsourcing, collaborating, and dropping the rest. Personally, that appears as crowding in more pleasure, rest, self-care and joy, and letting go of dead connections, habits, environments and spaces.

My ability to show up fully as a coach and strategist requires that I continuously regulate whether I am at my best both emotionally and mentally. And when I’m off, I can’t serve my community. 
I can’t serve you.

And trust...when my head game is off it’s noticeable. It shows up in the form of overwhelming exhaustion, cynicism (yo, I can really be salty...and Petty Patty comes out to play even if its just in my head), and detachment. I’ve also experienced it as feeling ineffective and like I’m not accomplishing anything in my life or business. The wild part? I’ll feel that way while also feeling like no one else can do what I do, and therefore I can’t ask for help. 
All of those were signs of burnout, and I was experiencing them because I struggled with saying no. Have you been a passenger on this struggle bus? Rode shotgun?
The best way I’ve discovered to help me strengthen my “No Muscle” was to practice purging my to do list. 

Sounds great Whitney, but ummm, how do you know what to stop doing? 

Yea, and uh, what about those of us who hate saying no? 
Can you teach us how to maybe, just stop saying yes to everything? 

I gotchu! And, yes I can.

Remember these key words

Automate, Delegate and Eliminate

Automate

Can the task that you need to do be done with software? If you can eliminate a task affordably through automation, do it! If it’s going to require more time before you can use certain automation, find the most accessible way to streamline your processes with automated triggers. There is a technology that exists in just about every budget to accomplish simple backend tasks that you may not even be aware of yet. 
It might help to talk to someone aware of the technology available for productivity in your space. The advice will be paramount in helping you move your business forward with as much automation as possible. For example, did you know about IFTTT (If then, then this) technology that you can use through platforms like Zapier.com? An example of what that could look like is found within your email marketing platform. Your contacts go down a specific client journey based on their subscription or purchase behavior.
If you’re looking to automate things in your personal life, then look at different apps, kitchenware, gadgets and your habits, as well as tapping the brains of your inner circle to help unlock your efficiency through life hacks. Youtube is great for researching ideas.
Can the task that you need to do be done with software? If you can eliminate a task affordably through automation, do it! If it’s going to require more time before you can use certain automation, find the most accessible way to streamline your processes with automated triggers. There is a technology that exists in just about every budget to accomplish simple backend tasks that you may not even be aware of yet. 
It might help to talk to someone aware of the technology available for productivity in your space. The advice will be paramount in helping you move your business forward with as much automation as possible. For example, did you know about IFTTT (If then, then this) technology that you can use through platforms like Zapier.com? An example of what that could look like is found within your email marketing platform. Your contacts go down a specific client journey based on their subscription or purchase behavior.
If you’re looking to automate things in your personal life, then look at different apps, kitchenware, gadgets and your habits, as well as tapping the brains of your inner circle to help unlock your efficiency through life hacks. Youtube is great for researching ideas.

Delegate

If you can’t let it go entirely, and you can’t automate it, perhaps you can outsource it to someone else. You might want to pay a virtual assistant to help you with customer service, sales, editing, or other things. Reach out to your community and see who is open for a trade? Remember, your friends who were super stoked about you following your passion and told you to reach out if you ever needed anything? ASK THEM! Re-negotiate the chore schedule or ask your partner or niblings for additional assistance with housework so you have more time for business.
The same example from before, if you are a writer and you know you have to edit your writing, it might work out better for you if you let someone else do the editing and final revisions to ensure it gets done on time. 
Delegation can also look like tapping in your friend who slays at graphic design or video editing and exchanging their services for a meal, favor at a later date, art (or whatever, get creative) for the completion of the task. Leveraging your relationship economy to help you add in more ease, so you can remain in your creative zone and is such a magical solution. Because when you ask, I promise you, your people will show up to support you. They’re just waiting for you to ask.

Eliminate

Whenever you look at a task, you need to first think about whether it’s even required to be done or not. Just because you’ve always done something doesn’t mean it has to be done. Try to anticipate what happens if you just take it off your list completely. Write down the pros and cons of totally letting this task go. 
For example, if you are a writer, do you limit how many times you read through and edit any one piece of work? If not, you should. There is always a point at which future editing will just make the work less effective. 
If you find that you can’t let it go, then ask yourself if there is a more efficient way to complete it? Which brings us to our next point.

Wait!

Don’t forget about those of us who want to stop saying yes.

Oh yes, love, I’ve not forgotten about you.

Once your to-do list is clean, maintain it by starting to say no more often when asked to add something to your plate. Make it a habit to never say yes right away. Instead, tell people (or yourself) that you have to check your schedule. Then really do it. Look at your schedule and look at your goals. Then determine the benefits and drawbacks of adding that specific task or opportunity to your life. Collaborations are an excellent example of when to do this. If the timing helps you advance your goals, you can say yes; if it doesn’t do anything to move you forward and only adds stress to your life, say no
Point. Blank. Period. 
This is what it means to preserve your energy and eliminate what doesn’t serve you.
Created with