There is a creative podcast that I love, David Duchiem’s A Beautiful Anarchy. In this episode, he spoke about saying YES to NO is where you get your most important work done. 

All of this sounds great. But when you look at your life, how do you even know what YES’s do you need to say NO to? In my experience, it should include taking inventory of what you have on your plate.

I wrote a mission for my life: Find focus, bring clarity, live with intention, and plan for wonder. This led to developing my own unique myWeek system so I could manage my YES’s by:

  1. Finding focus. With the world so chaotic, moving forward requires focus; otherwise, you live life like a hamster on a wheel. Working in the creative industry, there is talk of some magical headspace called ‘flow.’ It’s that space in time when you are fully ensconced in a task. There is nothing else on your mind other than the work at hand. For me, the trick is about making a choice I need to commit to. That requires downloading everything out of my head to paper.
  2. Bring clarity. Once I have a list of everything on my mind, the next step is to read through and make choices. What are my priorities for the week, day, and hour? With everything laid out in front of me, what matters will jump out at me, providing me with the clarity of what comes first.
  3. Living with intention. In the digital age, it’s so easy to find your focus be misdirected by the dings, pings, and demands of others. Making the space to download your own ideas and thoughts ensures that you find you are closer to where you intend to go at the end of every week. There have been so many weeks of my life where I look back and have no idea what I accomplished outside of silencing and addressing other’s needs. Your needs should always come first.
  4. Planning for wonder. Joy, happiness, fun. These are the experiences that we strive for. We can get so caught up in paying the bills and managing responsibilities, it’s too easy to forget about making space for loved ones. You know, the whole point of life. Whatever planning system you use; sticky notes, a digital app, or you give the myWeek a try, don’t forget to say YES to NO so you can appreciate the joy and wonder in life.

“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll wind up someplace else.” – Lewis Carroll

Making choices like this is never easy and shouldn’t be, but we should celebrate their courage and take note of it in our own businesses.

  • Is there something about your company that needs you to say YES to a NO?
  • Is there something about your workflow or product development that if you said YES to NO that could open up doors?
  • And in a real mind game, are you aware that some of your NO’s are really YES’s to something else?


Content provided by Women Belong member Crystal Reynolds