November 16, 2021

179: Free Your Time For What Matters Most with Dorie Clark

It’s easy to get caught up in the game of doing. There are so many opportunities in life. Saying no can be one of the most difficult things managers need to do to protect their time. We want to do it all, but at the end of the day, being so busy doesn’t make us happy or help us achieve our goals. Saying no forces you to figure out what’s important, gives you more time to focus on the long term, makes you more deliberate with your decisions, and reminds you of what life is all about.


Today’s guest is Dorie Clark. Dorie has been named one of the Top 50 business thinkers in the world by Thinkers50. She is a keynote speaker and teaches for Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. She is also the author of Entrepreneurial You, Reinventing You, and Stand Out, which was named the #1 Leadership Book of the year by Inc. magazine. A former presidential campaign spokeswoman, she writes frequently for the Harvard Business Review.


Dorie and I talk about lessons from her new book, The Long Game, about how to become a long-term thinker in a short-term world! Which, hint, is all about how we prioritize and spend our precious time


Members of the Modern Manager community get my Saying No cheat sheet to help you remember when to say no and how to say no in ways that still feel good. Get it when you join the Modern Manager community.


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Read the related blog article: How To Stop Being So Busy



The Long Game Free Self-Assessment:


Key Takeaways:

  • There are many reasons we continue to be “too busy” even when we say we don’t like it, including that we feel important when we’re busy and it’s uncomfortable to stop and rethink our strategy.
  • Take advantage of unexpected free time by having a plan. Identify your goals and know what your next step is for each. 
  • Set aside time to strategize in order to be proactive not reactive. 
  • Ask “Is this the best use of my time” when an opportunity arises, instead of “Can I do this?”
  • When an opportunity arises, it’s either a “Hell yes” or “no”. If it’s not a 9 or 10 for what you want to do, turn it down. 
  • People usually only get offended when you delay responding to an offer or invitation. Say no quickly. It can be helpful to create scripts for turning down opportunities. 
  • Stop overbooking your future self with unimportant things by asking, “Would I do that this week?”
  • Teach your team how to prioritize and say no. 

Additional Resources:

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