Just Say No!


As I reflect back on my early 20s, I realize that I spent a lot of time juggling too many commitments. In college, I joined a sorority, signed up for various executive boards, volunteered in the community and became a resident advisor, all while trying to maintain decent grades in an extremely rigorous and demanding academic environment. Needless to say, my grades suffered and I barely made it out of undergrad in one piece.

After leaving school, the landscape changed, but the behavior remained the same.

Instead of overexerting myself as a student, I was overexerting myself in an attempt to become more marketable to employers. I jumped at any and every mixer, networking event, project, and freelance gig I could get my hands on! And while many of these experiences were valuable – I learned, grew, and was exposed to new opportunities – in hindsight, I do think that those moments were opportunities for me to be more intentional and discerning about my decisions.

Too often, we idealize ‘yes,’ but ‘no’ can be just as powerful.

Balancing a full-time job, personal projects, freelance work and volunteer commitments has made me much more aware of how I allocate my time. While I do recognize that I’m the type of person who derives a sense of fulfillment from being involved in many activities, I have learned to scale back and be much more selective about what those activities are.

“I would rather do a few things well than many things poorly.”

Every day is a work in progress, but I truly believe that the first step to a more intentional and focused life begins with learning that it’s sometimes okay to just say no!


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About Author

Joymarie is a New York City-based marketing professional and the creator and co-host of the Joblogues podcast. Passionate about personal & professional development, she enjoys volunteering, mentorship and connecting with other young professionals. In her spare time, you can catch her exploring the Brooklyn restaurant scene or planning her next vacation. Connect with her on Twitter and Instagram.