Make Room for Focused Participation

Related posts: Focused Participation Series

When we clearly define the results we desire to accomplish in our life, we are empowered to schedule time for them purposefully. Said another way, we are empowered to say YES to the right things and NO to the distractions with confidence and without guilt or regret.

Before I understood my lack of focused prioritization, every good intentioned person could persuade me to say yes to their need or want before I realized I had just given away all of my time to other people’s goals and priorities, leaving no time for my family or for personal life goals.

Every good cause or good idea could persuade me to say yes. Only later, often exhausted, with my hair on fire and suffering from burn out, I realized I said no to what was important to me because I was easily persuaded to say yes to other people’s priorities.


When we are not 100% sure what our priorities are, we can be easily persuaded into giving time to the priorities of others, taking away time to give to our priorities . This is how our hair gets lit on fire! It happens every day…

  • People ask us to use our time to do something important to them
  • People ask us to give our time to help them accomplish a priority goal for them

These are often good and valid things we are asked to do. We might even feel guilty saying no to the requests.

But what if someone asked us to give them time already committed to…

  • A job
  • A Dr. appointment (or other appointments)
  • A committed date on the calendar

We never feel guilty saying no to requests of our time that conflict with a firm commitment – and that’s the key. We have to treat our family, personal and business life priorities like a commitment vs something we hope to do.

When we lack focus on what we are determined to accomplish, we are easily persuaded to say yes to the priorities of others (and no by default to our own priorities).

Eventually it all catches up with us…

  • Our family starts to feel neglected
  • We start to feel overwhelmed
  • Our desired personal and business results seem harder and harder to achieve
  • Our hair is ON FIRE!


When we take the time to identify our priorities, we are empowered to say YES or NO with confidence and without guilt or regret. The power comes from scheduling the time to take the actions required to see results with our defined priorities.

With the priorities defined, we schedule time to participate in them. (If you aren’t clear about your priorities, jump over here first and complete this exercise on defining your focus.)

Ready to stop using time as your excuse to not have what you want most in life?

When we make room for what’s most important to us, our heart fires blaze and we avoid living with our hair on fire.

  • Use your blocked time to say yes on purpose and no without guilt.
  • When asked to help with something or give your time to something, stop and look at your calendar. If saying yes would require you to cancel one of your prioritized appointments, simply say no – “I’m busy at that time, I won’t be able to (help / attend / do…)”
  • If you decide you really want to say yes to something, don’t say no to your priority…reschedule it, just as you would a Dr. appointment or salon appointment.
  • Eventually you will have to find something to say no to. Choose your yeses with purpose and prioritized focus.

At the end of every day, there was just enough time for the things we CHOSE to say yes to.

Download the following worksheet, pull out your calendar and take some time to complete this exercise that will help you make room for what is most important to you right now.

[NOTE: this worksheet assumes you’re clear on your focus. If you need help with focus, jump here first.]

NEXT... Is your focus being poisoned?

Need help? Let’s connect

Living with your heart on fire and keeping the fire out of your hair is not a special skill or ability that some have and some do not, but sometimes we need help stoking the right fire. One of the things that sets my heart on fire is helping others sort and sift through their thoughts, find focus, and develop habits that will serve them well. {stoke a heart fire – not a hair fire!} Wanna chat? 

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