22/11/2013 07:55 GMT | Updated 25/01/2014 16:01 GMT

Saying Yes, Saying No

Imagine it was possible to hover over your daily life and really look at all the things that make it up every day. Look at what you do with each minute of your 24 hours, each and every day. Look at all the people and things that are part of it. How much of what you observe would you feel you had actually chosen? A tiny part, a large part, none of it?

The truth is you chose all of it. It is true, on some level you chose it all. There may be some things you really don't feel like you chose, but you certainly chose to allow them to continue.

If you have all this choice, why is it sometimes you reach a point where life seems so incredibly cluttered and pressured? Probably it is because you have lost sight of what you're saying yes to and what you are or are not saying no to. And you have equally lost sight of why you are saying yes or no.

If you've ever listened to yourself say yes when you really wanted to say no, you'll know how awful that feels and how it affects the task at hand.

For some people, every single day is like that. They are saying yes to something when they really want to say no. And what does that leave them with? Lots of what they don't want filling their time and little or no time for what they really do want to fill their time!

My guess is that we all have been in this situation to a greater or lesser extent. I know I have. Perhaps we have over-committed ourselves to work or other areas, tried to fit too much into our time, attempted to do lots of things at once, finding ourselves doing things that don't energise us and perhaps, in some cases, draining us. So what can we do about it?

We can mentally de-clutter our lives!

The secret to mentally de-cluttering your life is in the use of those simple words 'yes' and 'no'. Are there situations, people or commitments in your life that you regularly say yes to, even though you'd love to be able to say no? How much time could you free up by saying no to things that don't give you anything and that you don't enjoy? What could you do with that time instead?

By consciously looking at what we don't want to be doing with our time and saying no, we can clear out the clutter and make space for a better quality of life for ourselves. We open up our time for the things we enjoy, clearing the way for new opportunities to have fun and to grow. How refreshing will that be!

What will YOU say yes and no to?

If this has struck a chord with you, take action now and answer these questions one at a time:

• What do you currently say yes to and spend your time on that you'd like to be able to say no to?

• By saying no to those things, what will that free up your time for?

• If you were to put yourself first, what commitments, situations and people would you say no to?

• What will you say yes to instead?