Marcin Biegała

4 minute read

I’m a yes man.
I’m a yes man to a point that it starts to be just stupid.
You have some idea for IT event and need some help? OK!
You need to get big, three doors wardrobe on to the 3rd floor without an elevator? Count me in!
Damn, I caught myself lately on agreeing to pick up from the airport people I don’t know and get them to the event I’m not related to by any means.
And before you ask me for money - my default answer is NO now :)
At least that’s how I try to live now.

I think that there were two reasons for this behavior.
Part of it is probably due to my character, but there is also another part of me that for a long long time believed that if there is an opportunity you need to take it, otherwise you will miss it.

I lived like this for quite a while. Even during my college years, I had one or two other jobs. When I started my first employment I’ve also started freelancing. And later it was even worse. Full-time work, freelancing, some community events. It started to be pretty exhausting.

Around the time when I’ve started to feel a little bit overwhelmed by that, I’ve read somewhere sentence like this:

Saying ‘No’ is saying ‘No’ to one thing.
Saying ‘Yes’ is saying ‘No’ too many things.

From that moment it constantly resonates in my head.

I sat down and started to think which things add to my life and which just take my time.
I started with small things. Like getting rid of some things ‘that could be helpful sometime’, selling some books that I’ve read already (and I’m not willing to read it again) and were just taking space. I’ve read a few things about minimalism and decided to dig more.
The more I’ve thought about, the more things I found that were piling up in my life. It sounds a bit funny, but even games that ‘I always wanted to finish’ were sitting in the back of my head.
There is more.
Newsletters that you don’t read, twitter accounts you follow, FB pages you like, heck even list of unread articles in the pocket.
Everything is building up into a mental burden.

I had a lot of those things in my life.
So I went berserk mode.
For past few months, I was trying to sell quite a lot of different things - to save space, to save time maintaining them and moving from place to place. I’m unsubscribing from every newsletter and I’ve cleared my pocket list.
I’ve cleared my twitter feed and streamlined my FB. I even got rid of some of my different email adresses agregating them into just 3. I did the same in my work life too. I’ve closed some of my freelance work and I’ve left software house I’ve co-founded.
For a search of a clearer goal.

via GIPHY

Did I achieve what I wanted?
Yes and no.
I think my life is a bit easier, I spend less time behind the monitor as there is less things that I need to read/check to start actual work. I have less ‘contracts’, so less context switching.
No one is expecting me online on particular hours, so I can schedule my day the way it’s fine and productive for me.
I spend less time searching for things or trying to iron my t-shirts ;)
I’m definitely more happy and sleep better.
But I’ve also learned there is no end to this. It’s a process, a journey in a search of better-organized life.

I don’t expect you to quit your work, sell half of the things and wear only two t-shirts for a whole month.
What I’m trying to show you is that everything in life has a cost.
Even saved bookmark or free newsletter.
Everything takes time and/or ticks of your brain.
You just need to choose wisely!

For the time being, I’m choosing ‘No’ ;)

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