Managing Time and Juggling Work


Just when I think I’m getting on top of things I realise I have lost my passport or a child needs to be collected from an activity at the same time as I’m meant to be somewhere else. Even my weekend did not include ANY sleeping in. Travesty!

I used to get terribly stressed out when life threw me into a spin like this. But in the last five years or so, I have become better and better at saying ‘No’.

I recommend it! Saying ‘No’ takes years of practice, in order to break the ‘Yes’ habit. And one aspect of this is simply slowing down. Realising that you will be late for the party and it’s okay. That the Lego will not get picked up today. That the family will have to dig through the heap of clean laundry, to find a matching pair of socks.

And with the time I find by saying ‘No’, I can say yes to other things which are equally important and help me gain back my balance: A walk in the park with my child. A ten-minute yoga session. A cup of tea. I try not to say ‘No’ and then sit around stressing. I make that extra time work for me, and it makes me more productive in the long run.

This last week has been very much a week of letting things slide. It’s been demanding, work-wise and stressful in general. But my new habit of backing off and saying ‘No’ has kept me on the ball with the important things. And next week looks like a more peaceful one, so I can catch up with those socks and Legos!


Nan Sheppard


I’m Mary Cummings, a ghostwriter, collaborator and all round word doctor. I help business owners write and publish business books; I'm also passionate about helping creative freelancers find work that they love - their work sweet spot with work on their terms, projects they love and clients who are a dream to work for.

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