12 Tips to help you Take Back your TIME


Are you OVER feeling overwhelmed yet?

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, MCC, SCAC
Reflections Post

Have you taken stock of the items that contribute to your “too much to do and not enough time” life?

If you are anything like my clients, my students – and me! – no matter what the list looks like in detail, it boils down to one single thing.

Unbalanced energy:
too much going out, not enough coming in.

BAD IDEA: Saying no to YOU to say yes to them.

There may well be folks who have figured out how to have it all –
but nobody has unlocked the secret of DOING it all!

It’s an easy trap to fall into – especially when you’re busy. Believe me, I know better than anybody what that fly-paper feels like! And the best way to start rebalancing the scales is simple (but not easy!): get the Time & Energy Vampires off your neck!

Getting over Overwhelm

When we’re overwhelmed, what goes first? Yep! The things that are important to US. We’ve all been well trained to make sure we handle our “responsibilities.”

But when did their to-dos and priorities become OUR responsibilities?

Here’s a reframe: If you don’t have time to do what’s important to YOU,
you certainly don’t have time to do what’s not important to you! ~ mgh

Whose life is it anyway?

Certainly not yours, if you are chronically overwhelmed. Probably theirs.

Wiki – Creative Commons

The most obvious offenders are frequently the people who claim to love us.

And because we love them, we think we always have to say yes: spouses, lovers, parents, children. Those guys.

The worst offenders are the emotional bullies: people who pull any of the following stunts, bullying us into saying yes, usually because we feel like it makes little sense to invoke their immature consequences for saying no.

Only SOME of the nasty tricks they pull to have their way with us include the following. They’ve learned we tend to give in when they:

  • sulk (or cry)
  • play “take-away” (the dreaded silent treatment)
  • get angry or rage all over us – especially when icily controlled
  • shame and should on us for not being able to handle more than we can
  • pitch a fit (retaliating in some overtly aggressive, passive aggressive, or publicly embarrassing fashion).

Even though beginning to set boundaries around bad behavior from people close to us is clearly needed, they are the toughest to retrain, so let’s save how to handle most of them for another article.

Balance other scales to take back your time!

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Time & Energy Vampires

I’m talking about the bloodsuckers who repeatedly put their items on our “plates,” expecting us to help them pick items off their to-do lists — no matter that we are already running as fast as we can to handle what we want and need to do.

People who repeatedly borrow our time and energy without putting it back are draining our life’s blood as surely as any vampire in the scariest movie.

That’s true no matter WHO they are:
parents, spouses, friends, lovers, distant relatives,
colleagues, bosses, or relative strangers.

I’m talking about the Takers — those crafty little buggers — the chronically needy, the crisis kiddos, the emotional bullies, or the terminally clueless who cajole their way to the front of our time and energy line repeatedly, leaving it up to us to figure out how we are going to make sure we get our turn enough times to keep our own lives and businesses running smoothly.

When we look the dynamic squarely in its beady little eyes, I’m sure we’d all LOVE to make the fact that we are a few quarts shy of a full tank of time and energy their fault.

But that’s not what’s really going on here.
WE have taught them it’s okay to take without giving back.

We put the Free time and energy HERE sign on our own backs — the very first time we realized that the energy exchange was unbalanced and didn’t insist on a rebalancing before throwing any more time or energy under their bus.

Eventually, we find ourselves up against overwhelm’s wall when something unexpected suddenly goes wrong and we no longer have the time to take care of it.

And you know what’s really sad?

  • EVEN if they are grateful as all get-out, after a time or two, many of them ask as if they believe that they are entitled to use the minutes of our lives to help them move forward with theirs — it may not be conscious, but it’s there.
  • Even worse is that some of those “entitled” folks have even stopped being grateful – much less expressing their gratitude with much beyond a perfunctory, “Thanks, you’re the best”
  • And I’ll bet that you feel like they make it seem that you are the bad guy when you can’t squeeze ONE more “Could you do me a favor?” into your life without giving up bathing or sleeping regularly.

Because saying yes to one thing
MEANS saying no to something else.

Taking Back Your Time

EIGHT tips immediately below, FOUR MORE further down – TWELVE tips in all.

You can recapture a TON of time and energy taking a look at the sum total of the occasional time-takers who rarely do anything to move YOUR life forward — eliminate THOSE first.

Start practicing your NO muscle there – AS they come up – every single day for the next month. So that means you are going to say NO to items like the following:

  1. Requests for recommendations on LinkedIn by anyone who has not already put time and energy into YOUR life in some manner (send them directly to the trash if this is a one-way favor request – they’ll ask again, I promise!).
  2. Requests for more help at your kid’s school — you’ve already helped so you’re now on the short list of likely yes-sayers and new requests. Take yourself OFF that list a time or several. (Sorry, you’re currently overcommitted).
  3. Time on the phone with that friend or relative who usually calls only when they want to vent (Don’t answer the phone when they call – you’re already booked!)
  4. Colleagues or network marketers who send email from their lists every day or – really now – several times a day. (TRASH ’em! Better yet, get off those lists! YOU don’t need to be one of the “numbers” in THEIR “game.”)
  5. Texts or tweets asking for your opinion on a survey (or anything else) from any and all social marketing contacts who have never put any energy to YOUR social marketing. (Dump ’em unread and/or unresponded to)
  6. Emails with, essentially, no info except for a link to go read another of those l-o-n-g web pages telling you about something miraculous they want you to buy. (delete’em – they’ll have something new and even more miraculous for sale next month)
  7. Email forwards from friends who send you jokes or “don’t break the chain” requests. They may have time for that — and you may too, LATER – but not this month. (Don’t read ’em – just dump ’em!)
  8. The “I need help handling items on my inability to say no list” folks. (Don’t spend the minutes of your life trying to convince them to “just say no” – tell them you don’t have time to take on another thing right now, bless their passive little hearts, and keep moving!)

After a month of practice, you can start saying yes again — to the things you WANT to say yes to. Start off by building up your NO muscles – and making it a HABIT to use them.

The Quick Start Diet

Most of us are familiar with those “lose weight NOW” diets that begin with a restricted format to jumpstart your weight-loss.

They generally begin by warning you that it’s not healthy to attempt to stay on the quick-start plan, but it helps to begin there — or to pick it up any time you’ve gained a few pounds.

Think of the next few tips in the same way. It’s not a recipe anyone will be comfortable with over time, but it sure helps refocus your life on the things that are important to YOU.

The 4-step strategy to taking back your LIFE:

1. Pick ONE day this week to be your “ALL NO” day.

Let everyone who has gotten used to counting on you to say yes know that for that one day you are saying NO to anything and everything anybody wants from you.

Don’t explain, don’t ask permission (especially with your tone of voice!) – just let them know, in a calm, charge-neutral fashion.

Some of you may need to practice “charge-neutral.” Use the same tone of voice you’d use to respond to a stranger who asked you for the time: no opinion or apology, simply what’s so.

When ALL NO day arrives, reply to anyone who tries to wheedle an exception in the same charge-neutral tone, “Sorry, today’s my ALL NO day, remember.”

Sheesh! They can’t do without your time and energy for ONE measly day?

2. Use that day to pick off as many things hanging out as possible.

YOUR things, not theirs, even if you crossed your heart and hoped to die promised you would do something for them and haven’t had the time to make good on that promise.

  • If hubby has been bugging you to take his shirts to the cleaners, “Sorry darling, not that day.”
  • If your wife has been “nagging” you about your promise to accompany her to an outlet mall an hour away, “Sorry darling, not that day.”
  • If you’re a week or more behind on the laundry, or the lawn mowing, or any OTHER chore that really isn’t a life and death priority, “Sorry, not that day.”

Ask anybody who objects, “What would you do if I dropped dead?”

Good plan! Pretend I’m dead. We can talk about it later – I need this ONE day to figure out how I’m going to get ANYTHING done without imploding.

3. Before the day is over, make a list of to-dos and promises to which you are already committed. Add in chores that are divided unfairly, especially if you are expected to do them to their standards or on their timetable.

  • Tally up the energy expenditure: what’s important to YOU and what’s important to somebody else? (No, it’s not important to YOU simply because they are important to you. We’re talking time and energy here, not feelings)
  • How much of YOUR life is committed to what they want?

4. Make a commitment to balance the scales the down & dirty way:

For the next month, pretend you are not ALLOWED to say yes to anything unless you say no to something else. Allow the new thing to bump that old thing right off your list – forever or for now.

  • If the person doing the asking is one of your time and energy vampires, tell THEM to pick what comes off your list, unless they would rather hear a firm no to this one — only from the things they want you to do.

IMPORTANT: their things, not your things –
they don’t get to vote on what’s important to YOU!

  • Stop enabling bullies – you are entitled to spend the minutes of your life YOUR way. Tell them if they can’t appreciate the fact that you are doing them a favor when you put your shoulder to their wheel, you will dump EVERYTHING you’ve ever said yes to, and say no to the new request as well.
  • THEN DO IT! Bully back — consider this tip permission to deliver an overdue lesson in empathy. If you’ve always been the long-suffering type, you won’t have to do this very many times before they get it. You can talk about it later. Boundary this ONE month however you must.

(If you recognized your own behavior in the description of those emotional bullies – this is your month to stop that nonsense, practice stating your needs in a mature, charge-neutral fashion and get OFF that emotional roller-coaster. I promise life will be MUCH more satisfying once you do.)

If there is nothing on your list you CAN say no to, there’s your down-and-dirty priority: you don’t have TIME to say yes, no matter how “important” the new request might seem to anyone involved.

  • Give yourself a stern talking-to if you hear some little voice telling you
    that it’s easier to say yes than to explain no. Don’t explain it. Just SAY it!
  • If it’s REALLY important to them, tell them you’d be up for a trade: they do one of your tasks first; you’ll do their thing AFTER you can cross the other off your list. (YOU pick the trade – and make sure you are being fair to YOU, not simply teaching reciprocity).

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About Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC
Award-winning ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching field co-founder; [life] Coaching pioneer -- Neurodiversity Advocate, Coach, Mentor & Poster Girl -- Multi-Certified -- 25 years working with EFD [Executive Functioning disorders] and struggles in hundreds of people from all walks of life. I developed and delivered the world's first ADD-specific coach training curriculum: multi-year, brain-based, and ICF Certification tracked. In addition to my expertise in ADD/EF Systems Development Coaching, I am known for training and mentoring globally well-informed ADD Coach LEADERS with the vision to innovate, many of the most visible, knowledgeable and successful ADD Coaches in the field today (several of whom now deliver highly visible ADD coach trainings themselves). For almost a decade, I personally sponsored and facilitated seven monthly, virtual and global, no-charge support and information groups The ADD Hours™ - including The ADD Expert Speakers Series, hosting well-known ADD Professionals who were generous with their information and expertise, joining me in my belief that "It takes a village to educate a world." I am committed to being a thorn in the side of ADD-ignorance in service of changing the way neurodiversity is thought about and treated - seeing "a world that works for everyone" in my lifetime. Get in touch when you're ready to have a life that works BECAUSE of who you are, building on strengths to step off that frustrating treadmill "when 'wanting to' just doesn't get it DONE!"

114 Responses to 12 Tips to help you Take Back your TIME

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  6. Bang-up great post as always, Wise One! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼. This was one of the most important lessons I learned in school–the art of saying “no”, in order *not* to say no to myself. Because you’re so right – people get used to your saying “yes”, and they come to expect it. We teach people how to treat us, even without realizing it. Our messages are powerful. I know I didn’t have a clue–until I did 😁. They get to where they feel entitled to walk all over you and then they get bum-hurt when you *have* to say “no” for some reason. 😱😱❤️

    I love how your suggestions are so realistic and doable! 👍🏼💞

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good for you!!! It took me longer to really get it — into my adulthood.

      In college it was easy to say no because I simply had to. Most people I knew were on a similar class/rehearsal/performance schedule so “no” was never questioned – nobody can be in two places at once. 🙂 My priorities were totally clear to me and life was relatively simple. Even though I had little dedicated “me” time, it was a joyful time because I LOVED what I was doing.

      Life got complex when I left the acting biz and no longer adored everything I was doing. What I call the “admin” expectations were brutal, actually, and not always appropriate. I wish I’d learned to say no to them much earlier!

      Especially once I founded OFI, I passed up a ton of R&R to take care of “responsibilities” for expectations that *really* weren’t central to what we were up to – and it seemed the more I did the more was expected of me — inappropriately, in FAR too many cases.

      That didn’t make for a very happy heart – and I was dragged into the lesson. 🙂
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh wow! That’s an amazing story, Madelyn! ❤️. I agree – saying no in school was easier for me, simply because I had so little time. But once I graduated and we founded our practice, it got a lot tougher again.

        I wanted to appease everyone, and people subconsciously saw the weakness and pounced. I kept setting policies and outlining procedures but somehow everybody became an exception, and pretty soon they started expecting it and even feeling entitled to it.

        My realizations came in stages – first I realized that I had started resenting them. Then I realized I resented myself for always giving in. Then I realized that I had inadvertently taught them how to treat me.

        So, I revised my policies and procedures and set them in stone, outlining in advance which–if any–exceptions would be made. And I stuck to them, apologetically at first, because I felt like I was being an ogre lol. But then I got used to it and so did they. Or rather, they weeded themselves out and were eventually replaced with new ones who didn’t know the difference 😉😁.

        Lots of lessons learned during that time 💙💜
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        mgh added white space for readability for those who struggle with longer strings of text; words unchanged

        Liked by 1 person

        • Our lives followed a similar trajectory. I could use the same words to describe my experience.

          One of the biggest benefits of self-employment is the speed at which the lessons come our way – lol.
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

          • Yep! Agreed 😁. For a while, that was actually the biggest liability of my self-employment, because of the speed at which the lessons came at me, but now it’s much more the benefit that you describe 😁❤️❤️💪🏼

            Liked by 1 person

            • BOY do I get that one! I keep affirming the “benefit” half of that equation even now – lol!
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • I love it! I like it when benefits stick around and it’s the liabilities that disappear 😁👍🏼💙

              Liked by 1 person

            • That’s always my goal too. We keep working on it, right? 🙂

              So many people don’t seem to understand the problems that follow in the wake of exception management. We price our services based on our Policies and Procedures because it is simply not possible to run a business or keep a roof over our heads if we don’t.

              I’m possibly more flexible than many, but I draw a barbed-wire boundary around client requests for me to do FOR them what they need to learn to do for themselves (or hire the services of a dedicated assistant!) It’s amazing to me still that many clients want to give ME “homework” outside of the sessions for which they have contracted. SO sorry, no can do.

              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • You’re absolutely right! Hehe I often have Mark Knopfler’s instrumental called “Working On It” running through my head 😉. (It’s the one he wrote for the movie “Wag The Dog” – beautiful song!)

              “but I draw a barbed-wire boundary around client requests for me to do FOR them what they need to learn to do for themselves (or hire the services of a dedicated assistant!)”

              Oh yeah! You’re singing my song, my friend 👏🏼👏🏼❤️😊👍🏼

              Liked by 1 person

            • Can’t blame ’em for trying, I guess, but that doesn’t mean we have to say yes to those requests.

              Years ago a good friend and I jokingly came up with a new business idea: “Can’t say no? Hire us and we’ll say it FOR you.”
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • Omg that is awesome!! What a perfect service! That would probably bring in a wad of cash, too! 👍🏼😂👏🏼👏🏼💟

              Liked by 1 person

            • LOTS of people would be happy to know the service was available – but I’m not sure how many would be willing to open their wallets for it – lolololol
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

  7. Much of this is good and excellent advice, but please be aware, some readers may be trapped in jobs where “no” isn’t an option. I left one job I liked where anyone with a request I denied because of my schedule simply went to my supervisor and she assigned the task anyway. She kept a list of every request and if notified the Executive Director of every task I failed to do. At review time, each one was an excuse to deny my raise.

    The next job I enjoyed a lot of support with half of management and none with the other half. Knowing that balance could change, I offered to help even when I didn’t want to, I also declined when I felt it would be bad for the students I worked with. Often requests included allowing them to check out expensive equipment I wrote grants to acquire and which they would return broken. My refusal, after two years, to allow staff access to equipment for personal use led them to lobby, successfully, with those in management who didn’t want me around.

    So to tell people to make no days is to ignore the reality of their situations.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for taking the time to comment, Phillip. You are most certainly right about the problem with saying no in certain work environments. It doesn’t sound like the one you describe listens to staff AT ALL. I’d be very frustrated in that environment too – and would be floating my resume practically as soon as I landed.

      More than a few of us are currently “trapped” in a rusty corporate culture where saying NO simply isn’t an option, even when the entire workforce is so overwhelmed and distracted that their effectiveness is half of what it could be. It’s NOT the best use of their human resources, of course, but too many “old think” administrators, managers and supervisors are sadly resistant to changing to something that would work much better if they’d take the time to think outside their current boxes.

      When you can’t really set limits at work it means, of course, that saying no where you *can* is all that more important (and picking a weekend day rather than a work day as your “all no day”).

      Don’t take any “all” too literally and note where you are thinking in a black and white fashion about *any* technique. Tweak to fit by thinking *principles* rather than specifics. (You certainly wouldn’t say no to taking a child to the emergency room just because it was all no day, right?)

      I suggest that clients in environments similar to the one you describe keep their own list of work-requests and ask their managers/supervisors to prioritize – responding in the moment by telling folks that you’re putting their request on your list and will run it by your supervisor for the timing. Even THAT won’t work in some crazy workplaces – as you experienced.

      Sorry to read that you lost your job – I hope you are now working in a much more enlightened environment.
      xx,
      mgh

      Like

  8. Sorry, I’m so late to this… hopelessly behind. Thank you for this helpful and insightful post that I think that all busy people need to consider carefully. There’s some great advice here!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Late? No such thing as “late” on an Evergreen site (and it is ALWAYS a thrill to see your Gravitar here!) I know what you mean, tho’ – such an abundance of things to read, I find myself scrambling to keep up most days. I’m working on being easier with myself about it. 🙂
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • I need to lighten up in that regard. I hate a crowded Inbox, so I put pressure on myself to keep it clear. This weekend was nuts – anniversary on Friday, Canada Day on Saturday – so I’m trying to whittle the Inbox down to under 100 unread items. Then I get upset. Silly. You’re right, take a breath…

        Liked by 1 person

        • BOY do I get that! I hate a crowded inbox too, John, but my reaction is quite different. I pretty much avoid even looking at the account that attracts the e-glut (lol) – only check it when I am actually expecting something from someone – and I try NOT to encourage folks to use that format.

          I have sooooo much more I want to do with my life than be an email penpal. If folks want to chat with me, they know they can almost always do it here and I almost always respond quickly — and I GREATLY prefer “real time” phone chats with my friends and family.

          Email was a useful communication tool back in the day, but doesn’t seem to be since it has become little more than a marketing platform. I don’t take marketing CALLS either – I say (as nicely as possible, so I don’t get my shorts in a knot), “I never respond to calls like these, please take me off your list” – then I hang up and block their number (and try to remember not to engage with them in other formats either).

          I used to try to do it all, but it made for a very stressful existence – a great big “should.” I eventually taught myself to embrace the idea that only *I* get to decide how I spend the minutes of my very own life. I’m not on the planet to accommodate everyone else’s preferences. It gets easier with practice. 🙂
          xx,
          mgh

          Like

          • I need to adopt some of your practices before I become an unhappy camper. I hear you about the email. I get uncomfortable getting too personal on a blog comment section because it is public. Thanks for sharing! Hugs.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Or some version of it anyway. I keep saying “tweak to fit” because hardly anything works exactly the same way for everybody.

              I actually LIKE having interactions public because so many people have the same problem, even tho’ most of us worry that we are the only one. You just have to be aware to “fuzz” some of the details that might expose other people to public eyes – but that’s not too difficult to do, and SO many more people get helped in the same amount of time it would take to respond to ONE person in a private email. I like the leverage.
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

  9. paulandruss says:

    Brilliant and insightful as always. Like any valuable resource life must be managed and that is so often easier to say than do. Which is why need tips to keep our heads and hearts clear and keep perspective so we are not overwhelmed. Thanks Madelyn for giving us the benefit of your experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lol – I love that “b” word – thanks for aiming it my way, Paul. These tips came from my own life experience, as you picked up, but also from working with my clients and students over the years.

      It’s so simple – not to be confused with easy. LOL 🙂
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • paulandruss says:

        Simple not to be confused with easy. That is very wise!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Maybe wise, but mostly true.
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

  10. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    Feeling overwhelmed! Madelyn Giffith-Haynie with some lessons in self-control…ours! We are many things to many people from relatives to friends on and offline but sometimes we are their go to person. Boumdaries become blurred and you can lose yourself in the life and wants of others. It is a wonderful feeling to be loved and needed but you cannot afford to lose who you are in the process and your needs.. Madelyn will talk you through the steps.

    Liked by 1 person

    • WOW, Sally – what a great introduction to this article. I am positively glowing with this reblog. Thank you SO much.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • Deservedly so Madelyn… hugs xxx

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ah, Sally, you are SUCH a doll!
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

  11. Christy B says:

    I read and re-read the part about the emotional bully. Yes, that’s exactly what I have in my life right now and I didn’t know the term for it. I decided to take a step back from her and then she moved forward toward me (figuratively, not physically). I’m more certain than ever now that this isn’t a positive force to have in my life. Thank you for helping me clarify that, Madelyn!

    Liked by 1 person

    • My pleasure, Christy. Impossible to say what’s up with your situation, but you describe a common experience with individuals in relationship to someone with Borderline Personality Disorder.

      FIRM boundaries are the only way for the non-Borderline to have a healthy relationship with them, in that case – they tend to “test” more strongly than other folks.

      Same principles, regardless. “Just say no” lol. Easier said than done, I know personally, but truly necessary to rebalance scales that have too much them and not enough you.

      Nothing wrong with refusing to engage AT ALL with individuals who won’t stop with the bully behavior – and sometimes essential.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • Christy B says:

        Thanks Madelyn. It might be worth me researching a bit about Borderline Personality Disorder. Have you written any articles about this? Appreciate your advice here xx

        Liked by 1 person

        • I have not written about it in a blog article, Christy, because there are a great many Borderline bloggers out there who are working very hard on themselves and I don’t want to disempower their efforts. I do talk about it in my coach trainings and with some of my clients.

          The main thing for you to know is to keep an eye out for *anyone* who wants to relate with you in an unhealthy fashion (to ‘guilt’ or pressure you into doing what they want you to do vs. requests for time and attention with no consequences when you cannot or do not want to).

          Your own life will work better if you step back from those folks, no matter WHAT the source of their behavior.
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

          • Christy B says:

            Oh Madelyn, you totally get what I was referring to with that “bully”! That’s EXACTLY what she does with the guilt and pressure. OK, point taken. And how amazing that you are giving those Borderline bloggers their room to specialize in it. I continue to be amazed at your knowledge base and your huge heart. Thank you again xx

            Liked by 1 person

            • What a dear comment, Christy. Right back atcha’.

              Good luck setting boundaries that serve YOU.
              xx,
              mgh

              Like

  12. dgkaye says:

    OMG I loveeeeeeeee this! So true, the time suckers of our lives. No seems to be the hardest word in my vocabulary but I’m doing much better these days staying away from the ‘takers’. My mother was the biggest taker in my life, it took me 50 years to walk away from her but I did it. Friends or should I say ‘fairweather’ friends for an ear, a favor with never a reciprocation have been evacuated. I used to have a ton of friends and could still if I allowed them in my life. It’s true what they say – if you can count a few good friends on one hand you’re doing good. So sharing! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’ve always thought that the best thing is to attract a whole bunch of true friends, everyone giving and taking in a flow of what’s needed and appropriate. I’m grateful for even ONE, but I don’t want to buy into the limitation. I want LOTS – lol.

      Thanks ALWAYS for giving so very much to me, Debby. I promote you on Pinterest – my only “social” — and will review once I *finally* have the resources for reading available. You’re at the top of my list.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • dgkaye says:

        Aw gee thanks Madelyn. I share your posts in my Flipboard magazines – most under the heading ‘health and wellness’ in case you ever decide to join there too. I also send to Pinterest but I must admit, I hardly visit there. After all, 8 social sites is a lot to babysit on a daily basis but it doesn’t cost anytime to hit a ‘share’ button. 🙂 ❤

        Liked by 2 people

        • 8 socials – good grief! I truly do not know how you do it. I don’t visit Pinterest much either (or LI or FB) – tho’ I do my best to keep up with the blogs, but don’t even seem to be able to do that every single day. Flipboard has been on my list since your article. Thanks for sending my stuff there meanwhile.
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

          • dgkaye says:

            I think I function on overdrive because I’m a Gemini. It helps having 2 selfs LOL 🙂 xx

            Liked by 2 people

            • It helps to have a twin in a closet, too. I sometimes suspect that is the true secret to your success: only one of you sleeps at a time and sometimes you double-team the rest of us! 🙂
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 2 people

            • dgkaye says:

              Lol. I never thought of it that way, but you might be right! 🙂 xxxx

              Liked by 1 person

            • 🙂 I KNEW it!
              xx
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • dgkaye says:

              🙂 🙂 xx

              Liked by 1 person

  13. bethbyrnes says:

    A great post and terrific analysis as well as solutions. I love the idea of the “no” day. And you are right. When I am feeling overwhelmed it is because so many outside entities are making demands of me. I have tried to cut back on all of it. That is one reason I like Twitter over Facebook: I can just express my opinion and not have to engage in a lengthy back and forth over it. The news these days is zapping a lot of my good will and so I have little patience with that percentage who brought this mess into our lives. That means spending as little time with them as possible. I am just treading water for the next 42 months. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Beth — seeing your name over here gave me a big smile. It’s been a while since I’ve been over to your patch as well — I’ll drop by shortly.

      I know what you mean about avoiding Republicans anymore. I can get pretty worked up over the millions of registered Democrats who didn’t bother to vote too. I can’t manage Twitter OR Facebook – and I have to be very careful about what I read or watch otherwise. Wrong vibration!!! Shuts me right down and sucks the joy from my being.

      Perhaps it won’t last 42 months — or maybe I’ll win the lottery or something and take my piles of money to Scandinavia or some other progressive country where laws and policies have been made that indicate that they actually care about the wellbeing of their populace.

      So this is a good time to focus on cleaning up those every day annoyances and tolerations. I’ll be posting more with that idea in mind – something that leaves people feeling empowered to do something about what they CAN.

      Maybe feelings of empowerment will encourage everyone to vote IN people for whom making America great again is not merely a campaign slogan.
      xx,
      mgh

      Like

  14. Good proactive advice. I go through phases where I say yes too often. Usually that’s when I’m feeling weak. You offer great advice I should read at those moments.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Jacqui – I go back to read my own articles from time to time (lol) when I go through my own “phases.” We humans like to help, but sometimes it takes over.
      xx,
      mgh

      Like

  15. What a great post Madelyn, It took me many years to understand that one tiny little word would save me the world of grief.. As I ran around my bosses trying to be all and do all .. The more I did the more was expected and as people left due to stress, the more I got piled upon me to achieve..

    Had I learnt that little word.. It maybe, Maybe, would have saved me from a Nervous Breakdown.. I say maybe as many other factors were tied into this.. But then that little word would have helped there too..

    For you are right.. those whom love us, pile on the pressure too, and the guilt, of putting us in that position that if we refuse to jump when they say jump, we do not love them.. ( May mother was a great manipulator of this ) And I feel was also a Psychic Vampire who sucked energy, but we live and we learn.. 🙂 lol

    Sometimes we are our own worst enemies.. So learning that little world of NO.. should trip off everyone’s lips a little more often.. Its called self preservation..

    For years we put others needs and wants first.. And do not put our needs or what we want to the front.. As we allow our dreams to go on the back burner..

    I learnt the art of Time Management, literally as I among other things would hold the stop watch in time and motion monitoring.. 🙂
    So life for me at one time was full pelt, full time working Mum of two, cramming everything into the weekend to get caught up.. No wonder your body and mind cry enough is enough and gives in..
    So for anyone out there who think they can keep on keeping on.. One day cracks will start to appear for sure..

    This is why Madelyn this is such spot on advice.. Great tips to work from.. and I wish I had had you around all those years ago my friend to take heed of..

    Now I am chilled.. and when I want an afternoon in bed.. LOL.. I take heed of my body and rest.

    Sending Lots of Love your way Excellent article and post my friend
    xxx ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • What a great comment – and I just KNOW that at least one person will read it and things will land in a manner that they didn’t when they read the article. THANK YOU for taking some moments from your own very busy life to leave it. Thanks also for the good comments about the article.

      Enjoy your nap – keep taking care of YOU!
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 2 people

      • 🙂 you are welcome.. Your articles are always full of content that interests me Madelyn, but like your good self, we need to time manage ourselves and not be slaves to the technological world, which is why, while I’d love to visit every single post every one writes, it is impossible given so many we both follow..
        But when something grabs my attention, I love to read,digest and leave my comment.. We both love writing.. 🙂 and our comments are never upon the short side.. lol.. 🙂 So this also takes up our time as we move around WP..

        But I hope that what we write, and the energy we leave, will help brighten or leave a smile upon a face or three.. 🙂 .
        Your own visits always brighten mine, as I know how precious your time is also, so always feel honoured that you take time to explore my own little corner of the world.

        So Thank YOU.. and we will both keep nurturing ourselves..
        Have a great day..
        Hugs Sue ❤

        Liked by 2 people

        • We are so alike in this manner, Sue – including our wish to have time to visit and comment meaningfully on every single blog every single day, I’m guessing.

          Reserving time for ourselves is important, however. A few “squeaky wheels” make it tough to focus on the quiet ones that are a lot more fun to interact with – and we need to “grease” our own wheels a lot more often. OH how I wish I could always do what I know. 🙂
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 2 people

          • So true on all counts dear Madelyn.. I spend more time visiting than actually creating a post.. lol.. and smiles to your last sentence.. 🙂 😀 xxx

            Liked by 1 person

            • Me too, Sue. I actually dropped my posting frequency to have MORE time to visit. I have to actively remind myself to do what I can and stop pressuring myself to do more than I can manage. I am always pulled to do “it all” – lol – which is impossible, given the abundance of the all.
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • And we must remind ourselves to say no.. and put ourselves first.. LOL.. Enjoy the abundance.. I may go quiet for a time.. My laptop goes in for a service tomorrow.. So enjoy the rest of your week.. Love and Hugs xx

              Liked by 1 person

            • Here’s to some time OFF the internet. Enjoy every single moment of your “free” time. 🙂
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • Will do.. 🙂 xxx Love right back.

              Liked by 1 person

            • {{{{massive hugs}}}}

              Liked by 2 people

  16. Reblogged this on Die Erste Eslarner Zeitung – Aus und über Eslarn, sowie die bayerisch-tschechische Region!.

    Liked by 2 people

    • What a lovely thing to trip across your reblog as I’m responding to comments, Michael. Made me feel like a million bucks. Thank you.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 2 people

      • Its a great pleasure and als fun for me, if you love it. 😉 Michael

        Liked by 2 people

        • It always feels good to laugh – and to laugh with others is the best.
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

  17. Schedule time every day to procrastinate. I’m good at that. Yesterday I procrastinated for over an hour watching YouTube videos of 12-year-old Grace VanderWall singing. After I heard her sing her first song, I started listening to everything I could find on YouTube. She writes her own songs. Her 1st song is “I Don’t Know My Own Name”.

    If you click the link and watch Grace sing her song, give yourself permission to procrastinate. The great thing is that I ended up smiling and laughing for that hour or more. So much better than reading about the Kremlin’s Agent Orange and his latest insulting, bullying tweets.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks – sounds like JUST what the doctor ordered.
      xx, mgh

      Liked by 1 person

    • You did it to me – Lloyd. 🙂 Darling girl. I spent several hours watching videos of her and a few others, laughing and crying (good tears). Nice BREAK – and definitely a procrastination activity. lol 🙂
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • Great.

        I’m getting into the habit of returning once or twice a day to watch her sing again on the same You Tube videos I’ve seen before. All it takes is reading about another Tweet from the Kremlin’s Agent Orange and I turn to Grace and her songs to cheer me up. It’s working. Happy tears and laughter wash away the slimy gunk from Trump.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’m doing many things to try to stay positive during these days that seem so dark, deliberately taking myself to a more positive place. My fingers are crossed that the sun comes out SOON.
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

          • Me too. In fact, I’m seeing films that are not all that popular with the majority of the movie-going crowd that seems to prefer horror, superhero films, and cartoons.

            This morning I went to a 9:50 AM showing of “The Book of Henry”. It was better than I expected. If you go to see it, take tissues. I’ve seen some great films that don’t do well at the box office just because they make you think are aren’t fantasy enough.

            Liked by 2 people

            • Thanks for the recommendation, Lloyd, but I shook my head at the idea of heading to a movie before noon. There is a discount matinee within walking distance of my apartment – great ticket prices, but it’s in the middle of the afternoon. Just as well, I’d have to stay up all night to make a 9:50 AM film!

              Other than the timing, we would probably be great movie buddies. I tend not to prefer the big box office films myself.
              xx,
              mgh

              Like

            • My days tend to run from 6 AM to almost 11 PM so making the 9:50 AM show was no problem. :o) The earlier the film, the better I like it because then the rest of the day stretches out before me.

              I only sleep because I know I have to.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Good for you for “making” yourself sleep – and I’m glad you are able to do so.

              6AM is frequently when I finally make it to sleep – and my wake-up time is noon. Not ideal, but better than being all over the map with my hours – and stabilizing my wake-up time is the only way I can do that.
              xx,
              mgh

              Like

            • I shouldn’t be laughing, but those hours I’m supposed to be sleeping are not all slumber hours. I wake up several times a night, and then sometimes go back to sleep and sometimes not. When not, my mind travels and I don’t always like where it goes.

              Liked by 1 person

            • “Mind travels” – boy do I get that one, super way to put it.

              I keep working on pulling my thoughts to the positive ones that light me up. The darker ones seem to like to lurk but I keep trying to pull my attention away from that. Sounds like you are too.
              xx,
              mgh

              Like

            • I’m working on directing my thoughts awake and asleep. If I don’t, those thoughts tend to drive toward the dark side and that promotes hate, anger, and ages me. To combat that I’m meditating several times a week and it helps move my thoughts in a more positive direction. I’m planning on increasing the meditation time too.

              Liked by 1 person

            • I’m with you there, Lloyd – good for you. I’ve been playing positive podcasts and YouTube videos in the background as I work AND as I sleep for the same reason.
              xx,
              mgh

              Like

  18. Excellent topic that is so real in todays times. So much to absorb here and a formula to overcome the situation. There have been so many times in our life that we have fallen prey to this personality type but didn’t realize it or see it until much later. Great post Madelyn. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks. I think that most of us fall victim to the “helping” urge – to the extent that we sometimes leave ourselves out of the equation. I have to remind myself often! 🙂
      xx, mgh

      Liked by 2 people

      • We know what you are saying and the feeling that result. This is why it is so important to take good care or ourselves so we don’t get lost in the process.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Absitively!
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

  19. An outstanding post, Madelyn. I am a person who loves to help others and I got into a real rut at work where I was killing myself helping everyone and nobody knew how much I was doing. I actually resigned. It then became apparent to everyone how overloaded I was and I now have two assistants and I have learned to say no. It has helped no end with balancing my life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We are so alike here, Robbie – “helpers disease” I call it. Good for you for setting the boundary SO clearly. It’s one of those “treadmill tasks” – it never stays done, lol, it creeps back subtly. So we periodically need something like the quick start diet to rebalance the energy *before* we are ready to resign again. At least I do.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

  20. -Eugenia says:

    Excellent post and good thought-provoking information.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Eugenia. It was fun to write.
      xx, mgh

      Liked by 1 person

  21. I know I should have read this more thoroughly however I believe you and my Neuro OT have been learning from the same source.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The brain itself has been my teacher – probably your OT as well. Take what works and tweak the rest.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Lucy Brazier says:

    Brilliant! I really needed to read this post today. I have recently started claiming ‘all no’ days here and there, days set aside for doing absolutely nothing if I so choose, not even checking social media or emails. A few ‘friends’ have recently been making me feel a bit guilty about not having time to visit or get involved in their stuff. Like I think I’m too good for them or something. Certainly not. I am simply working hard and picky with my time. Sometimes a girl needs 24 hours to do nothing but eat and sleep!
    xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • I call those my “stare at the wall” days. I have long had a habit of giving myself my entire birthday to do ONLY what I feel like doing in the moment. No plans, even if somebody wants to throw me a party – or take me out to dinner. Maybe – let’s see how I feel on that day – if I can’t get it together to do anything but sleep, can we pick another day? HEAVEN!

      Then it suddenly dawned on me – say what? ONE day out of 365 I reserve for what I want to do and I think that is a GOOD thing?

      This article is sort-of a recap of what I had to do to turn my life around, at least a bit. Those of us who actually prefer to be busy can get sucked down that rabbit hole really easily and before we know it we’ve become little more than human doings.

      Good for you, Lucy – keep it up – and keep telling yourself that your life is YOUR life — and true friends will understand that you need to spend some time alone to recenter, no matter HOW much you love them. If they don’t, maybe you’ve outgrown them?
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 3 people

      • Lucy Brazier says:

        I do love to be busy and will work hard to achieve the things I want to achieve. Most of my friends realise that and are very supportive. I will always be there in times of genuine crisis and need but I am not going to feel bad about pursuing my own dreams any more. Also, it’s amazing how many more ‘friends’ I have now my writing career is picking up. People who haven’t bothered with me in years suddenly want to hang out. Who’d have guessed it? 😉
        xx

        Liked by 1 person

        • lol – part of it, no doubt, is that you are more visible, and reading your blog is reminding them how much fun you are. But it’s also not uncommon to want to be the “star’s” best friend. Think of it as practice handling all the fans that will be reading your books.

          YEAH Lucy! No more guilt about taking yourself as far as you can go and spending the minutes of *your* life doing what you want to do (or need to do) that is likely to take you there! A+ 🙂
          Onward and upward!
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 2 people

          • Lucy Brazier says:

            Always onwards and upwards, my dear friend! Thank you as ever for your wise words. Hugs!
            x

            Liked by 1 person

            • lol – we humans are good at that onward part anyway. 🙂
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

  23. I just started the (hopefully) right way… I had two “all no days”… and this two days really helped to find back to me and to change some things ;o)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Woo hoo! Best. comment. ever.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Excellent post, so chuck-full of down-to-earth practical tips – very helpful to many!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Dolly. The basics are sometimes the best (and we teach what we need or needed to learn – lol).
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 2 people

      • I think your audience consists of two kinds of readers, those who benefit from practical advice and those who appreciate theory. You are doing a great job addressing both needs.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Thank you, Dolly. In my experience, however, unless they understand the rationale behind the “tips,” most adults read the “practical advice” as nice but too simplistic (or too much trouble) to give it a go personally.

          Also, only by understanding WHY can folks tweak to fit – which is almost always necessary.

          It’s never been my objective to “give a man a fish,” or even “teaching” clients to fish. I strive to teach the principles of food gathering, so they can feed themselves anything they want any time they want.

          The “practical advice” tips are simply examples from my own and what has worked with my clients. People do tend to find them helpful.

          I’ve been editing an upcoming 4-part “tips” article for the Executive Functioning series, so this is currently much on my mind. Your comment is very encouraging – thank you.
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 2 people

          • I think you are doing an excellent job blending the principles with the tips, which is definitely what’s needed.

            Liked by 2 people

            • Thank you so much for your encouragement, Dolly. You have no idea how much it helps me stay on the horse.
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 2 people

            • You’re right, Madelyn, I have no idea, because I am sure that you are perfectly capable to stay on that horse on your own!

              Liked by 2 people

            • When days get dark and nights get long it’s recalling lovely thoughts in comments like yours that keep me strong. I am so very grateful.
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 2 people

            • You have yourself to keep you strong, and you are perfectly capable of it!

              Liked by 2 people

            • I understand what you are saying, but please let the acknowledgment IN. Your positive comments make me feel great, and feeling great is wind beneath my wings — and I appreciate them very much.
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • As long as you are feeling good, I am satisfied.

              Liked by 2 people

            • Thanks. I am doing what I can to keep my attitude positive – and most days I’m incredibly successful.
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 2 people

            • I don’t really believe in pep talks about positive attitude. I consider myself an existentialist; to me, existence precedes essence, i.e. once you start doing positive things, positive attitude will inevitably follow.

              Liked by 1 person

            • We are saying, essentially, the same thing: you can’t spend time tolerating and expect NOT to be frustrated and overwhelmed.
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 2 people

            • It’s not that I can’t;I don’t. But there is more to it, as I believe that strong people don’t need pep talks and weak people are not helped by them. Sometimes one might benefit from acknowledgement of one’s strength,but that’s different.

              Liked by 2 people

            • Nice distinction.
              xx, mgh

              Liked by 2 people

            • 🙂

              Liked by 2 people

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