I read the books of Bob Bly and subscribe to his information.
This morning he had an interesting email on “Doing Lunch”. I have shortened it significantly but the gist is as follows.
A subscriber wrote to Bob “I’d like a chance to meet you, if possible, just to meet so
that sometime in the future we might be able to work on something together”
Here’s why I won’t go to lunch with people, as much as I may like you:
I find going out to lunch in the middle of a work day to be an enormous drain on my severely limited supply of time. I would rather spend the time working.
Many subscribers try to tempt me by saying the lunch will be on them. “I charge hundreds of dollars an hour for my time. Do you think paying $10 for my tuna sandwich and Coke is really a tempting
bribe for me?”
I am introverted and even reclusive by nature. I have no desire to eat lunch with someone I don’t know.
If you say we should meet “so that sometime in the future we might be able to work on something together” or you have a question I could answer in 2 minutes on the phone or by e-mail would take up an hour or two of my time at lunch.
Value Your Time
Think about the value of your own time. I do a lot of connecting through LinkedIn (mycoachbill) and I still meet for coffee when I can see that there can be a direct benefit of doing so. This may be where someone can help me or I can help them. This is the beginning of a solid face to face relationship.
Now he makes his most important point.
“The fact is there are very few things in my life I value as much as my time. Not money. Money can be replaced. If you lose money, you can always make more of it. But time is irreplaceable. Once it’s gone, it’s gone for good. You can never get it back.
One of the best ways to not squander your precious, limited time is to learn to say ‘no.'”
The Cost of Not Saying No
If you are a people pleaser, like many people I work with and like I am myself, the hard part is saying no. The key question is “If I say yes to this am I, by default, saying no to something more important? That question alone has significantly reduced the number of volunteer boards I am on; and I got to share the opportunities to serve with others.
I finished my e-book yesterday Effective Communication: What they need to hear and how they need to hear it thanks to the encouragement and request of some recent audiences. This would not have happened had I not started saying NO more often in the last few months.