Here's the deal. Starting tomorrow, I will no longer have a part-time job (nothing negative, the boutique's just moving to the Meatpacking District) and there will have a lot more free time on my hands. And when I get asked to do things I don't want to do (spend money on a not-so-great dinner, spend time with college friends I was never really that close to in the first place, read fiction), I'm going to nicely and politely - but firmly - say these two words: "No thanks."
You see, turning thirty and whatnot has made me realize the importance of being in control of my own time and activities. I may not have a ton of money, a jet-setting lifestyle, or even a decent-sized apartment, but I do have the luxury of choosing what I want to do, when I want to do it.
Even better, I'm going to employ this spectacular new tactic at the office. Now, certainly, when the bossman (or woman, but not in my case) asks me to do something that's already part of the ol' list o' tasks, then of course I'll do it. But before I'm thrown into another wild and wacky, time-wasting project that a co-worker has dreamed up, I'm going to have to take a hard look at how it affects my job performance and the organization as a whole. And in those cases - with my bosses' blessings - I'll say "No."
You see, I'm tired of spending my time doing a lot of things that are not in furtherance of the mission of the organization for which I work. I need to feel that I'm contributing in a meaningful way just about all the dang time. If I didn't, I'd go work at a for-profit business and just do...well, whatever it is people do at those places. But times are tight and talent is plentiful, and if I don't strive to use all my resources in the best manner possible, then I'm being disingenuous to both myself and the people we serve. And that's not cool.
You've been warned: get ready to hear the word "no" out of my mouth a lot more this year. But, because I believe that this new exercise in self-monitoring will result in a more judicious use of my time, I plan on saying "yes" to a lot more things, too. Yes to new ideas, yes to professional development, yes to spending time with great friends, and yes to working on building a better body and mind.
You see? It's not all so negative now, is it?