Excerpted from Scott Halford’s new groundbreaking book on success and the brain, Activate Your Brain Activate Your Brain

The happiest people with the healthiest brains are leaving space in their lives to say yes to themselves. We should be saying yes to ourselves every day. In order to do this, we need to set parameters.

I often ask participants in my workshops, “how many of you do email or some form of work past eight o’ clock in the evening on a regular basis?” At least half of the class raises their hand every time. It is startling, because these are often the same people who grumble about having no time to spend with their partners and children, no time to do the hobbies they like. And yet, they choose to say yes to work and no to themselves, their family, their friends, and fun activities. They save it all up for the weekend, which, of course, only consists of about thirty-six hours, because the march back to work begins for most of us on Sunday afternoon or in the evening.

I’ve heard so many reasons for this round-the-clock work schedule: “I have a big job with people all over the world counting on me and I need to be available 24/7,” “I get paid a lot, and I have a lot of responsibility,” and, and, and…. Of course those are all valid reasons, but really? Always saying yes to work and no to yourself? You can’t live like that and expect to be happy, because there is not a happy balance. The messy parameters aren’t just about work creeping into your personal life; it goes both ways. Setting parameters will likely positively affect all aspects of your life.

Activation:

  • Say no to one thing that might intrude on your personal time this weekend. Reserve that gained time for something that’s more important to you than the thing you said no to.
  • The next time you get a meeting request say, “I’m happy to come; what are you expecting me to contribute?” If they can’t tell you…don’t accept the meeting invitation.