Saying “Yes” Means Saying “No” To Something Else

If we look at time as the ultimate finite resource, that means that when we agree to do something, we are ultimately agreeing to NOT do something else during that time period. Like not spending more time petting a puppy.

I don’t remember where I heard this quote. However I am trying to be better about implementing it into my own life. I feel that we are naturally inclined to say yes to people. Saying no, and creating “friction” is an uncomfortable feeling. But learning to say no thank you is in your best interest.

Saying yes when you really want to say no means that maybe you won’t get the sleep you need to function at your best the next day. Saying yes when you really want to say no means that maybe you won’t dedicate those three hours to building up your personal project that you want to make your job. You don’t make it to your exercise session. You don’t fold that laundry and your messy apartment begins to drive you a bit crazy.

Saying yes without it being a whole hearted yes is not fair to the “you” that you want to become. It is not fair to the person or thing you now see or do because there is a cloud of “I should be doing something else right now” hanging over you. If it does not make you happy, educate you, or bring you value, really consider if it is worth your time. This value could be social happiness too, and that is valuable. We need to see friends. But when that time crosses into “I should be working on xyz” it is time to say no. Saying no gets easier as you realize it is saying YES to yourself. Yes to your peace of mind. Yes to your health.

Say yes to you.


  1. I wish you’d said this to me a few years ago. I learned my lesson but sadly the hard way. Thank you for your nice words!!


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