Prioritize Yourself in Your Time With The Word “No”

Michael Scott, played by Steve Carrell on The Office, saying "No! God! No! Please no! Nooooooooooooo."
Michael Scott knows what we’re talking about!

This one might seem obvious. Of course, canceling or saying “no” to things will bring you more free time. But, if you’re anything like most people, your inclination is to think that if that was possible for your particular schedule, you would already be doing it and, thus, it must not be possible to cancel anything or gain any more time.

The reality is though that, as easy as it is, most of us don’t cancel or say “no” that often. That leads us to overextend our time and undervalue ourselves. 

 With our obligations to ourselves and others, we force ourselves through periods of no time for rest or recovery. There are most likely things you could cancel right now that would bring you more time for things you need — be it time to take care of your health or sort out your tax filing. We know that we need the time so we can continue to show up as our best selves, but we don’t take it. We tell ourselves we’ll get around to that time we need eventually and, for now, exhaustion will have to do. 

But things will continue to be busy and it will be easy to not prioritize your needs… forever.

That’s why it’s important to remind ourselves that we can cancel or say “no.” Once you remember that you can, it’s important that you regularly check to see what time-sucks on your schedule you can cancel. If you’re feeling nervous, you don’t need to cancel these all the time. Try doing it when you’re out of balance, feeling fried, and need some extra time to bring your brain back to where you need it to be.

Some low-stakes, one-off examples if you feel like you never have anything you can cancel might include: 

  • A networking call or meal (it’ll be okay)
  • A trip to see your sister for the weekend (next month probably works just as well for her)
  • Your regular creative accountability group (yes, you joined to make the most of your output but you’re human, you can skip and it doesn’t mean your creativity will be gone forever)
  • A check-in where you have nothing to report or will be stressed the entire meeting because you have so much to do (your boss or co-workers have been there too)
  • That play you bought tickets for to support a friend but have no interest in (you can probably give the tickets to someone else and even if you can’t… you will still thank yourself for not pushing yourself to the limit for a play that you’re too exhausted to appreciate)

To learn more techniques to prioritize yourself in your schedule, complete Time Smart in Pique.

The Best Times to Pick Up Pique

Want to learn? Then it’s the right time to use Pique!

It’s difficult to know when you’re going to be bitten by the learning bug though. That’s why it’s probably best to plan regular times to use Pique when you know your brain is generally feeling open and curious. So, probably not after the regularly frustrating phone call you have every Tuesday at 2pm.

In general, when we say “set a time to use Pique” we mean figure out what context you want to be in when you use Pique and make a plan to use it at those times.

You might reach for meditation apps when you feel stressed or mobile games when your brain absolutely can not take in any more information at all. The best time to reach for Pique is when you feel open to learning something new. By setting an intention for when you’ll use Pique, you can turn smarter reading, learning, and reflection into a habit! 

Why is it good to plug Pique into your plan? 

When we repeat certain behaviors over and over in regular contexts, like at the same time or in the same place, they start to become automatic. 

You might have done that with some behaviors you’d like to stop, like picking up your phone to check social media as soon as you wake up. This phenomenon isn’t limited to tendencies that the algorithm wants you to make into a habit though. 

You can make helpful behaviors automatic too. We might be biased, but we’re pretty sure that making a habit of using Pique to take your reading one step further is a positive thing. Because of that, we recommend slotting us into your daily or weekly routines for regular learning!

Times successful people read do books in Pique:

  • On your commute
  • With your morning cup of joe
  • Before bed
  • After putting the kids to bed, in the 5 minutes of euphoria you have before your brain shuts down
  • Every Saturday
  • In between Zoom calls
  • On your lunch break
  • After finishing Ozark
  • While waiting for the frying pan to heat up
  • When you would otherwise refresh your email waiting for a response
  • When you find yourself falling prey to the siren song of social media
  • Every time you see a lightbulb flicker
  • At 2:55pm – we’re not sure why, it’s just a great time

That being said, it’s good to be flexible too. 

Science says that the best way to make a habit stick is to be flexible while you’re setting it. We all stumble at the beginning stages of setting habits and if you’re too rigid, you’ll force yourself all the way back to the starting block. 

Planned to turn to Pique before work, but then woke up groggy with no extra time? That’s okay! Take a spin through the app on your lunch break. It’s better to continue at an off-time than not at all. If and when you miss the timeslot you originally planned, you can always turn to Pique at another time. Pique is in your phone whenever you can to return to it!

Regardless of what time you turn to Pique, there are so many great books in the app for you to choose from. If you’ve got 5 minutes in between calls or in a waiting room, that’s enough time to pick up and Pique! 

P.S. Got less time but still want to do something productive? We recommend flipping through your flashcards!