How to Do More of What’s Worthwhile and Less of What’s Not

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I don’t know about you, but last year I spent too much time doing things that weren’t worthwhile. I said yes to things I should have declined. I spent hours worrying about things that were trivial. And I wasted way too many hours scrolling on Instagram.

This year I want to be more intentional with how I spend my time. I want to spend more time doing things that matter like spending time with my children, working on passion projects, and developing a community.

Of course, changing how we spend our time is a bit easier said than done. We do so many things automatically without thinking and we schedule out most of our days weeks in advance.

Before we fill in our planners or give our time away, we have a little bit of work to do. Here are the four strategies we should use in order to make sure we spend our time doing things that are worthwhile.

Busy Woman At Desk

Understand that being busy isn’t a badge of honor.

It can be easy to think that if you are busy that you are successful. Or if you are busy you are important. Or if you are busy you are being productive. Busy is not a badge of honor. Busy is just busy.

Learn to say no.

For most people, saying no can be really difficult. I know for myself I can think no, but I often say yes anyway. Most of the time I end up saying yes as a way to avoid conflict. Maybe you say yes because you don’t want to disappoint a friend or family member. Either way, when we say yes to someone else’s desires and priorities, we are taking time away from what is important to us.

If saying no is something you struggle with here are some things to think about:

  • Recognize that every time you say “yes” to one thing you are also saying “no” to something else. Unfortunately, you can’t do everything for everyone. We just don’t have the time or capacity.
  • You can say no without sounding mean or uncaring. That means you don’t have to worry about ruining a relationship by saying no if you do it right.
Do More Of What's Worthwhile and smell the flowers

But be willing to say yes to the right opportunities.

Once you start saying no, it gets easier and easier to say. But you shouldn’t say no to everything. You need to make sure you are saying yes to the right opportunities.

First, you need to get very clear on what it is you want. This is where life mapping, reflection, and goal setting come in handy. If you know what you want and where you want to go, it will be easier to decide if you should do something.

Then you need to take a moment to pause. Before you say yes, you need to understand what it is you are committing to and let that sink in. You might be thrilled to be a maid of honor, but the position comes with a big-time commitment. Take moment to think about how saying yes will impact your time and your life. If you are excited and can take on the time-commitment, then great. But if not, you might need to say no.

Woman with pineapple

Put what’s important and worthwhile in your planner.

When you have a doctor’s appointment or a meeting with your boss, you put it in your planner. You do this so you don’t forget or double book yourself.

You need to take the same approach with things that are important to you. If taking weekend trips is important to you, block the time off in your planner. If date nights are important to you, block the time off. If going to church on Sunday is important to you, put it in your planner.

Guess what? You can use your planner to limit what you do too. If you want to set boundaries with work hours, put it in your planner. For example, you could say between 6-8 pm you won’t work. Or that you don’t do any work-related tasks on Saturday. You can even mark off chunks of time where you don’t want to schedule anything at all.

Make time for what is worthwhile

Our final thoughts on doing what’s worthwhile…

There is going to be an adjustment period. Saying no to people will be hard. Changing how you schedule your life will feel strange. But like all things, it will get easier with time. Plus the end results will be well worth it in the end.


I'm Holly, the creator of Feisty Life Media.

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  1. 1.8.20
    Amanda said:

    These are all great reminders, especially when working with brands.

  2. 1.9.20
    Marina said:

    This is the something I so needed to read today. Thank you x

    • 9.16.21
      CZ said:

      Great post. Applied, can change your life and bring you closer to contentment. Writing in a planner is brilliant.

  3. 1.9.20
    Marette said:

    Setting boundaries with work has been life-changing for me. I agree that we must learn to say no to things as well!

  4. 1.9.20
    Christa said:

    This post really hit home for me. I definitely fill my time with busyness and need to be more intentional with how I spend my time. Letting go of the idea that busy is good is difficult for me!

  5. 1.10.20
    aisasami said:

    Great reminders on how to spend each moment of our lives!

  6. 1.15.20

    Oh my goodness – the first one. I’m so bad about feeling guilty when my time isn’t full of doing things that are productive. I need to be more intentional about getting rest. My planner is my life. I love writing all of the things that I’m actually excited about doing in my planner, especially travel plans. Great suggestions!

  7. 2.8.20

    You are so inspiring! Keep on doing what you’re doing here cause I definitely love reading your post!!

  8. 2.9.20
    Nene said:

    Great post!!! Great reminders when working with certain brand

  9. 2.9.20
    Kristine Nicole Alessandra said:

    Good advice. Saying no is something I really need to work on. Since I decided to do a work at home freelancing job, it seems my family thinks I am available 24/7 to attend to their every whim. That should definitely stop.

  10. 2.10.20
    Rosemary said:

    Learning to say “no” is super important and that’s something I’m still working on. Like you, this year I’m much more focused on doing what matters and self care! Great article and keep being intentional.

  11. 2.12.20
    Aarika said:

    I love this article. It’s a beautiful reminder to truly value our time. Learning to say “No” has been so important for my journey of self love. Thanks for for this wonderful post.