I recently read a great article on the power of saying "No," especially as it relates to those in the creative fields.
It was a very refreshing read, one that I intend to keep in mind over the next month before my trip to Japan. I'm currently in the position of having a lot of free time which, as great as it feels at first, is actually a little scary.
It always seems that the more free time I have, the less I get done. According to Parkinson's law, work expands to fill the time allotted to it. That is, of course, if you actually fill it with work. More often I find the tiny, mundane bits of life will take your time instead. If you can get yourself to sift through the noise and determine what's important, you'll be able to reject the things that are complete wastes of time or - more dangerous in my opinion - optional. It's a struggle sometimes, but absolutely worth it. Kevin Ashton, the author of the linked article, puts it a really interesting way:
"Creators do not ask how much time something takes but how much creation it costs."
When we talk about time being our most valuable asset, what we're really getting at is the things we do with that time. Put in that light, it makes decisions a little easier to make.
We'll see how this month goes.