When I practiced law, I stuck at post-it note on the side of my computer monitor that said "just say no". Not "no" to gambling in the office or drinking too much diet coke but "no" to business invitations.
These were the invitations and obligations that did not seem bad when the opportunity presented itself but when the time actually came to leave work for two and half hours to sit in a hotel ballroom with strangers to discuss gender equality in the law, it seemed very painful. I used to say yes to all of these types of things but when the day came to actually go, I was very pissed at myself for saying "yes".
The straw that broke the camel's back came when I volunteered to be the office social/party planner. I was planning office holiday parties, staff luncheons, parties for clients. I even had to order flowers for the office. This was not in my job description and came with little thanks and no glory. It basically just cut into my work day and made me less productive. As a lawyer with billable hours as a goal. This was just dumb on my part. I decided to just say no to extracurricular things. It worked. I was happier and more productive.
Flash forward 15 or so years and the post it note must come out of retirement again. This past month has seen me saying "Yes" to things that I really don't want to do. For example, I have to go to a "uniform committee " meeting for my son's school today. I really don't give a crap about whether or not the school has uniforms. Why did I volunteer for this? I also over-volunteered for other school events and committees this spring at both schools. Huh? What was I thinking.
Yes, participating and volunteering at your child's school is important. Mom's who don't help at all just suck but I need to stick that post it note on my forehead or i phone so I remember that my job description is not Volunteer of the year.
Thanks goodness school is almost over. Remind me next year to just say "no", a little bit more often.