One of the most effective ways to get a handle on your calendar is to evaluate each item thoroughly before making a commitment and wield the word no as a weapon of freedom. I recently ran across a clever acronym that can assist with your decision making – BEST.
Debbie Bowen, author of Simply Sane, suggests that when you feel inclined to pile more commitments onto your plate, stop and ask yourself if it’s the BEST thing for everyone involved?
What are the Benefits to myself or my family?
Is it Essential?
Is it Sensible?
How much Time will it involve?
There may be things that feel as though you should commit to, such as serving on the PTA, co-chairing the annual holiday bazaar at church or allowing your daugher to add another dance class per week to her already loaded schedule. Once put through the BEST test, you may realize these activities aren’t worth the added pressure, stress, or energy required of you and/or your family.
Keep in mind that each time a family member adds an item to their schedule, they are in some small way impacting the lives of everyone else. When in doubt, ask yourself, do the benefits of co-chairing the Holiday Bazaar outweigh the fact that I have weekly meetings for the next six Saturday’s and will be unable to attend my son’s basketball games?
Another example: You are being offered a promotion at work which would bring a pay increase of $10,000 per year, but also includes longer hours and more travel. Do you take the promotion? What are the benefits? Is pay increase essential to your household or your agreed on future goals? Run it through the BEST test before deciding.
The answers to these questions can help give clarity and funnel out unneccessary activities and commitments which allows you the time and energy to focus on what matters most.