Chris over at the productivity blog The Art of Non-Comformity wants you to say no. Frequently. So frequently in fact that the quality of the things you say yes to rises exponentially. Chris advocates radical exclusion as a solution for overwhelming demands and new inputs. Rather than stretch yourself thin saying yes to everything and ultimately failing to deliver you should focus on the commitments and projects you really want to make something of:
I may or may not have a good excuse for why I failed to honour the commitment, but one thing's for sure: if I make a habit of it, I will soon lose the trust of the person who had relied on me.
To prevent this from happening, I sometimes practice the fine art of radical exclusion. This is where I deliberately ignore or decline any number of inputs, messages, or requests for my attention in order to focus on what I decide is more important.
By using his limited reserve to energy and attention to tend to the things most important, the quality of the time he spends on things in turn rises and creates a superior widget—whatever that widget may be: a product, a design, time spent with family. Having spent most of my caffeine-fuelled 20s taking on mountains of projects, I found I too have embraced his notion of radical exclusion. How do you deal with tactfully declining some commitments and negotiating others to be more manageable? Photo by Dave Parker.