I was so excited to see Emily Sermons post on Oct 14, 2015, which read:
. . .
. . . .Say Yes to Saying No
Around this time last year, I had the amazing opportunity to attend the 2014 Grace Hopper Women in Computing Conference in Phoenix, AZ. The conference opened my eyes to many things – the majority of which included realizing that there were thousands of girls from all over the world that were younger than me and better than me in everything I thought I was good at. In between some minor panic attacks over this fact, I managed to attend some incredible talks from women in all different aspects of the tech industry – one of my absolute favorite of these talks was given by JJ DiGeronimo on the power of saying no.
JJ started her talk with the tired platitudes that I was expecting – that we, as women, were enveloped in a culture of saying “yes” to anything. That we, as women, were juggling too many obligations to things that we didn’t actually care about. That we, as women, needed to start cutting out the nonessentials from our life.
I was half about to write JJ off as another motivational speaker who spouted off meaningless wisdom on our “culture of ‘yes,’” but never actually told us how to start decluttering our lives. Until she did just that.
JJ gave every woman in attendance access to a digital handout that allowed us to list every single one of our current commitments, filling in details about how much time and energy it took, who requested it of us, and how much it aligned with our goals. By the time we listed out our commitments, it became clear which ones were cluttering up our time – and it made it much easier to remove them from the list and from our lives.
With just a few tweaks for my college lifestyle, I have used this handout for my current commitments and for any future commitments I think I may want to tackle. I make sure that I only allow myself to devote time to commitments that are worth my energy and align with my personal goals, which ensures that I am able to approach each activity in my life with a positive attitude and a great work ethic. You can download JJ’s original “no guide” here, or download my revised one here.
Thank you, Emily for your honest and touching feedback! JJ DiGeronimo