3 Truths Every Female Needs to Hear, Part II

Sometimes a woman is her own worst enemy! We find ourselves saying “yes” to one more thing, especially during the holidays.

“Do less. Be More. That’s my goal this Christmas season,” Lysa TerKeurst, author of The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands,” posted last Saturday on Facebook. Limiting items on the to-do list is one sure fire tactic to reduce stress during this season and always.

ColetteCarlson2We end up stressing because we try to put too much into our day, said certified professional speaker and human behaviorist Colette Carlson December 5 to a group of about 300 women in attendance at the Executive Women in Ag (#EWA14) in Chicago. “The truth is you’re never going to get it all done,” she said. “What you really need to do is create a Not-To-Do List.”

Items that bog you down should be moved from the “To-Do” to the “Not-To-Do” list. Some tasks currently identified as Not-To-Do’s may someday make your To-Do List, says Carlson, but right now other values and goals take priority.

It’s time to speak your truth, says Carlson. Women – in general – must learn to express themselves. When you say “yes” to everyone else, you’re saying “no” to yourself!

So why do women agree to take on more when we really want to say “no”?  Most of us are afraid of disappointing or angering someone we love or respect. We don’t want to be criticized, talked-about or judged. (Hmmm… Isn’t it ironic that women tend to be more critical and judgmental of other women?)

To help determine whether accepting a request to help is worth your time and effort, Carlson recommends asking yourself these questions:

    • Will this task give you access to, or recognition or respect from, a connection you’re cultivating?
    • Will it simply take energy, focus and time away from other vital deliverables?
    • Or will it develop a skill set you’re looking to grow?

MultiaskingRecent research by Lise Vesterlund, economics professor at the University of Pittsburgh, reveals that women in the workforce are more likely than men to: (1) Volunteer to do non-promotable tasks; (2) Be asked to do non-promotable tasks; and (3) Agree to do these tasks.

“No” just may be your password to the next level. The second “truth” that Carlson shared during her presentation to Executive Women in Ag is “To go to the next level, you must grow to the next level.”

No matter your position or career goals, you can benefit from adapt these truths to fit your situation. “Leadership is a state of mind, not a job title,” says Carlson. Whether we’re managing our own household or leading a Fortune 500 company, all women know what it’s like to feel overcommitted. That’s why it’s so important to know when to take control and when to let go. “Let it go, let it go!

“Get your ask in gear,” advises Carlson. By multi-asking rather than multi-tasking, you just may find yourself singing a new tune this holiday season.