Famous billionaire investor Warren Buffett once said, “The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say ‘no’ to almost everything.”
Whether you’re an athlete saying no to partying to work on your shot, a product manager saying no to new features to build a better product or a writer saying no to new projects to focus on the ones you care about. ‘No’ is an essential part of success in any walk of life.
“Saying no frees you up to say yes when it matters most,” wrote author and Wharton professor, Adam Grant on his Linkedin column.
Entrepreneur and writer, Derek Sivers, shares a similar sentiment on his blog: “When you say no to most things, you leave room in your life to really throw yourself completely into that rare thing that makes you say “HELL YEAH!””
Important tasks are things that contribute to our long-term mission, values, and goals. In order to focus on these important tasks, don’t over-clutter your calendar with commitments that pull you away from the work that you truly want to do.
Or, as Steve Jobs so eloquently sums it up:
“People think focus means saying ‘yes’ to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying ‘no’ to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things we have done.”
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