Oh guys...if there was anyone to tell you that you need to slow down and stop filling up your schedule with stuff that make you neglect yourself and that cause you to have no time to even stop and take a breath….it is not me. Ha!

My days are all back to back classes, work, lunch meetings, dinner meetings, and homework...and don’t get me wrong, I love it all (perhaps, minus the homework sometimes…), but it exhausts me. Ask my suite mates! Or my family. My people feel it even though I am very good at ignoring this fact: I HAVE NO TIME FOR ANYTHING.

Guys, nothing breaks my heart more than when I am home for the weekend and my three-year-old niece runs up to me and says, “Auntie will you play with me or do you have to do homework?”

Ouch.

I am ashamed to admit that the other day, on a Friday night, I went out with some friends and I brought my computer to send some emails. My brother laughed and called me a workaholic.

I love my jobs, I love school, I love every extracurricular activity I am apart of; but it leaves me little room for things that matter in life.

I work with very wise people, and the other day a man of seventy-two years looked me in the eye and stabbed me in the heart with these words, “Christy, don’t you think your friends and family feel your absence when you choose work over them? It’s best that you learn to prioritize now before you make mistakes with your future family.”

Ugg ugg ugg….

Ugg ugg ugg ugg ugg ugg ugg!!!!

Guys, every time I fail someone because I have too much on my plate, I am reminded that I have not accurately prioritized my life.

I like to be busy. There! I said it!

I like the fast-paced life. Darn! I did it again!

Dang it dang it dang it! Am I right!?

I get really frustrated with my addiction to work and I am still very much trying to figure it out, however….while I probably am not the one to sit you down and help write out a more appropriate and realistic schedule, I can teach all of you-my fellow workaholics-a very valuable word that I’m sure you have all heard:

No.

Or Nope.

Or “nah”.

Or if you’re polite: No, thank you.

Or if you prefer Spanish: No.

It’s so simple, and yet so difficult. Way too often I feel like things are pulling me every which way, and then I realize, oh wait...they don’t have to be. I am the one who said yes to this in the first place, which means I can also say no…

It’s difficult to say no to opportunities when we know that they’ll keep you moving, learning, included, or building that fancy resume. But take a moment to consider what will happen if you stay…

Can’t think of any? Lucky for you I’ve thought some up myself. You’re welcome ;)

Here are reasons why staying busy may not be worth it...

  1. You can’t possibly do your best if you have no time:

This is one of the hardest things for me to admit. When people tell me nonsense like this, my immediate response is, “Oh yeah!? Watch me!” I always feel like people don’t believe in me, when they tell me this, but they are being truthful. I can’t possibly do my best if I have no time to even try. I am learning that I am a hard worker by nature, but this doesn’t make me superman (I wish…). This statement is not challenging your hard work ethic, or capacity to take on a lot (If you’re a workaholic, I know you have both of these things), but it is a fact of life that without time, you cannot put forth your best effort.

  1. Sleeping and eating actually do matter

This one is hard for me to take seriously…. Eating? Sleeping? Who has time for those things, am I right? Here’s another thing that I’m learning: The first thing to be chopped off of the workaholic’s busy, busy, plate, is themselves. I’ll be honest, I could go a whole night without sleeping and a whole day without eating. Sometimes these things happen within the same 24-hours! Here’s a piece of advice for that plate of yours: You scare people when you do this. I know to you it seems irrelevant and unimportant, but if you neglect yourself, you worry those around you. And isn’t it nice to be cared for? So actually, stop reading this article right now, and either go take a nap or eat an actual meal. I promise, this will be here when you get back...

  1. Your relationships will feel the strain

Welcome back, don’t you feel better? And I told you I would still be here… (Don’t worry, I’m a workaholic, remember? I know that you laughed off that last one and didn’t actually go take a break). Anyways, here’s my least favorite one to describe to you all. Remember I mentioned my niece before? Well let me tell you, there is no greater heartbreak, and I know it breaks her mother’s too, when I have to say no to playing with my little niece. So many, many relationships are affected by my serious lack of free time. Including my relationship with God. I was thinking the other day...I know it’s very cheesy, but pardon me when I give this classic scenario, because it will definitely happen one day. I don’t want to come before my Father someday and hand Him a resume that describes who I am. I want to instead, run into His arms, already knowing each other, because I took the time to get to know Him down here. Don’t risk your relationships because you like to be busy. Your schedule will not take you far.

4. You miss out on a lot:

This one also, hurts, I’ll admit. I don’t have one day off-not even a weekend where could do nothing, except relax. This means that I miss out on family stuff, friend hangouts, parties, events, and rest. Rest is so good-even to workaholics. I know we don’t know how to do it properly but we still have the desire! I have found that the more I neglect to slow down, the more I forget how to have fun. My mind won’t let me! It’s always going, going going; wondering what I have to do next, or looking at something through the eyes of business instead of pleasure. I need to sleep. I need to eat. I need to just have fun with my friends and family.

But to do this I need to say no, and I know some of you do too.

Guys, this is something that I have yet to perfect...this art of saying no. The list that I have provided is not from nowhere, I have experienced each of these things at my own fault and let me tell you, it is no fun.

Yet, don’t be discouraged either. You are a strong and hard worker. That hard work does not go unseen by God. You have within you the freedom to say no-never forget that. I am learning right their with you guys. So go work your butt off like you do, and learn to leave margin for the things that matter in life. Your future self will thank you.