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Saying no is always a hard one for me. I find myself improving all the time, but for some reason I have to keep using different types of organisational systems as one just seems to stop working after a while! It's so hard since I work at home all day - has its benefits though, like taking mini breaks :D

Penny - I think saying "no" is a hard one for a lot of people. It's hard to tell people that you can't do something when you really would like to, but it's important to focus on the things that are most important and also to take time for you too. Mini-breaks are great ways to refresh yourself and sometimes, as you said, it's necessary to try a variety of different organizing methods when one just isn't working for you anymore.

Great points. I once heard a speaker talk that balancing life is spinning plates. You got to put a little effort here and there to keep them spinning and prevent them from dropping to the ground. Here's a good show to demonstrate what I mean. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETiwMTENG8g

Charles - Thanks for your comment. That's a great point and thank you so much for posting the link to illutrate your point. Putting in effort everywhere in small amounts is a great way to keep everything moving.

Fabulous post. And so very important. Thanks for sharing it.

It's the keeping organized part that is so hard for me. I am getting better... My husband is a Virgo and is over organized!!! He likes to call me "Miss Manana"...because I put everything off until tomorrow...lol.

Molly - Thank you! I'm so glad you liked it and thought it was an important topic.

Caroline - SO funny. I'm a Virgo too (well, half-Virgo). We tend to be very organized and can't quite understand why others aren't the same way. Being organized comes naturally to me, but I know that's not the case for everyone else. I can definitely be over organized so, as I'm discussing in this post, everything should be done with balance in mind! :)

I JUST had a conversation with someone who was essentially telling me that only stupid people are organized because it is scientifically proven that brilliant people work better in 'controlled chaos'.

Might I add I was VERY patient. {SIGH}

HEy Dani,

Thanks for the shoutout. Balance is definitely so key to all areas of our lives. I have had my moments of imbalance in work and life. Great post.

Another great post, Dani. I think not only is it important to learn how to say no, but it's also important to learn how to accept people saying 'no' to you. Sometimes, I find people taking 'no' too personally.



Hi Dani

Great post! I like the one you started off with the most, because it is the most important one of them all "Decide what's most important to you each day." It set the tone for us everyday. Wise choice my friend.
Giovanna Garcia
Imperfect Action is better than No Action

I always know the second I'm out of balance because my body just screams at me. Migraines, in particular, but sometimes other little things like back strains, knee yelps, ankle moans, etc. (All having to do with where I'm headed in this life or how I'm getting there.) Imagine if none of us felt like work was work, and instead it was FUN?! And what if it involved all the people we love and care about, and want to spend time with each day?! (I believe it's a possibility... but for now, your post is necessary and so well stated.)

Have a great & balanced day!

Hayden - Oh my! I'm sighing right along with you on that one because I'm probably the most organized person in the world and I consider myself pretty brilliant. ;)

Srinivas - You're welcome! Thanks for featuring my article on your site. I have also had many moments of imbalance so I'm hoping that these tips will help me out in the future.

Mark - Thanks! Great point. Not taking things personally is SO important because it almost always has something to do with the other person and not you when someone else says "no." Sometimes it's hard not to feel it personally but it's really important to keep in mind that it's healthy to both say and hear the word "no."

Giovanna - I really believe it's important to know what's important every day. Sometimes it will be work, sometimes it will family, and sometimes it will be you. When you know what your daily goal is every day you can work towards it by setting smaller goals.

Megan - I can imagine that and I hope to someday be working full time at something that is FUN and not WORK. :) I definitely believe it's a possibility and I think the world would be a better place if we were all doing what we love to do and are good at...but, since that's not always the case, hopefully these tips will be useful! :)

I'd like to add # 9 - stay present or in the moment.

I feel most out of balance when I'm not present. Whether I work 8 hours a day or play, if I'm not in the moment and instead thinking of everything else I want to do, I feel overwhelmed and out of balance.

And I emphasize feel. I don't think balance is a state we can achieve, however, I do believe with practice (of things like meditation, yoga, prioritizing based on values, etc) we can feel it.

I have so much more to say on this, but I'll save it for my own blog!

I carry around a planner with me almost everyday. I am a compulsive list maker, so it's vital that I write down everything that needs to happen in my day. However, I try to keep it simple. If I have a large sewing project, I'll work on it for an hour or two every day of a week instead of trying to cram it all in the few hours I have to spare after work. I'm decently organised, but I definately need to improve my craft area at home!

I really enjoyed the guest post! I definately agree with Frank Loyd Wright's words.

Stacey - That's a great point. Staying present no matter what we're doing is SO important and when you're not present and you're always thinking about what you have to do at home after work or what you have to do the next day at work when you're at home you're never really fully enjoying the moment. I guess that's what I was trying to get at in point #5. Make every moment count by being present in that moment.

Ia - You make a wonderful point about keeping thing simple. It's great to have lists and goals, but it does not good if they're so complex that you can only do one thing in a day. Breaking things up over time is a great way to deal with longer tasks. No matter how organized you are (and I'm VERY organized!) there's always something that can be better organized so don't beat yourself up about the craft area. Thanks for checking out my guest post! :) I appreciate your support!

Very good post and good clear writing and point construction. Thank you for sharing this.

I am an extremely organized person and find it hard to understand people who just let things slide on by - I did find it hard to squeeze myself into the life stream when the children were young and I was exhausted most of the time.

I am learning new levels of "yes" and "no" responses, particularly with my youngest child as I let go...she may have to go hungry? and that feels very hard.

Yes I can give her her independence.

Patricia - Thanks for your comment. Like you I have a hard time understanding people who aren't organized but accepting others for who they are (no matter how hard it is to understand!) is part of life I suppose. You make some great points about "yes" and "no." Sometimes it's not always easy but it can often be better to say no when we want to say yes (not only for us but for others). Too much "yes" can be a bad thing.

Congrats on the guest posts, that's great!

Back when I worked a 9 to 5 (or 7:30 to 4) job my balance of work and home was okay, depending on how I felt about the job. The earlier work hours were at a place only about 15 minutes from home and I enjoyed the job. Usually when I got home from work I was happy and free from work thoughts, so my balance was nice. When I got the other job the commute was much longer, about 45 minutes, and I hated it, and it through my entire world out of whack. When I got home from work at almost six at night I was tired and cranky, my home life really took a beating. Now I work from home, which present a whole new set of challenges. Since my office is for work and for personal stuff, the two get tied in together much more, and I often never feel like I'm "off" work. But at least I love what I'm doing now!

Thanks for your always insightful and interesting posts!

Jen - Thanks for sharing your insights about balancing work and life. I think that having a long commute seems terrible and I'm so glad I don't have to deal with that. I'd love to be able to work from home, but I could see how that might be overwhelming because you never really get a break. The key, as you said, is to work from home doing what you love so you don't mind working a lot! :)

Even after all else is done one can still sit in front of the TV or computer instead of singing, dancing and painting!

I believe balance has to have quality as well.

Hello and let me commend you for doing a wonderful job with this blog. Your post are entertaining and the layout of your blog is smooth and clean.

I would like to offer my congratulations as I have finished reviewing "Positively Present" and I'm happy to inform you that your blog will appear on the Blogging Women directory.

Enter our monthly contest to win a spot in our "Featured Blogs" section!

I wish you continued success with this blog and all you do.

I think number 8 is very important and what makes your "yes" meaningful is by saying "no".

Great set of tips.

I think #6 is especially key. I see too many people fail to push back on their workload, they bite off more than they can chew, and then get angry at other people instead of owning their workload. Part of it is because people don't always know their capacity, but also because they have no boundaries. For me, I set a max of 40-50 hours in the week, and bite off what I can accomplish within that range.

By timeboxing how much time I spend, I can figure out my capacity, find more effective techniques, and better prioritize what I work on. I can also set and reset expectations more effectively.

I love this list! Number 7 is the most important for me because I tend to put everything off. I've been out of work since February, which has decreased my motivation in some ways. I mean, I've been enjoying the feeling of doing less and being more; but I'll one day need to become more productive--and this list will come in handy! =)

Tess - I completely agree that quality in balance is very important! Great point!

Fay - Thank you so much for the compliments on the blog and for adding Positively Present to the site Blogging Women. I'm honored to be a part of all of the other great blogs that are featured there!

John - Excellent point. When you don't say "yes" all the time, your "yes" becomes more meaningful both to you and the person you're saying "yes" to.

J.D. - You made some great points in your comment. Too often people bite off more than they can chew and then are stuck trying to get too much done in a limited amount of time. Sounds like you do a great job organizing your time!

Lori - I don't think you're alone in putting things off. A LOT of people do this, but it really does help when you do as much as you can in one day. I love the feeling I get when I do even a small task that I didn't really want to do. Knowing I won't have to worry about it the next day makes me feel good.

Hi all. Try to put your happiness before anyone else's, because you may never have done so in your entire life, if you really think about it, if you are really honest with yourself.
I am from China and too bad know English, please tell me right I wrote the following sentence: "Twitter, facebook, livejournal continue fight cyber attacks."

Regards :D Robyn.

This is an important reminder of things we're willing to put aside in pursuit of our goals.

Thanks so much because this post really made me think.

I NEED to make some changes.

Robyn - Absolutely agree with you! If you put yourself first and worry about your happiness than you can be so much more effective at helping others to be happy.

Eat Smart Age Smart - I'm so glad this post inspired you to make changes. Balance is so important but it's hard to come by sometimes. Thanks for leaving a comment!


I think this post was great. It's always important to make the best out of your time because it's something we can never get back.

BeTrulyHappy - Thank you! I'm so glad you liked the post. I agree -- you can't get time back so it's important to make the most of it!

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