Yes or No: An Essay on Time Management


Browsing through self help, advice articles, and numerous testimonies from millionaires, there are two philosophies to time management.

Saying Yes or Saying No

This is the fundamental question of becoming successful. Opportunities come and go daily, hourly if you’re exceptionally outgoing. And if you’re thinking that you do not have many opportunities offered to you, you’re simply not looking hard enough. You’re on the internet, meaning that you have essentially infinite opportunities and you just have to be the one that is crazy enough to go for it. With each opportunity, you have a choice. Should you take that gig or not? Doing nothing is the same as saying no and is also a choice.

Now, let’s look at the specific arguments for both answers.

Saying Yes

You have more time than you claim to have.

If you want to be successful, you have to be more driven than the next guy.

You never know who will be your magical connection will be.

I tend to follow this philosophy. It’s also called the “helium hand”. There’s always something more that could be done, so I say yes whenever I can. It’s served me very well and I’ve had more successes than if I were not to say yes.

However, there is an innate problem with saying yes. It’s called the opportunity cost. For every single gig that you sign on for, you forsake the potential for doing other things with your time. Saying yes to many things leads you to giving up availability to 1. do other things and 2. spend quality time doing the thing you agreed to.

Therefore, you should say no. Right?

Saying No

You can spend more time on the things you really care about.

It puts you in a position of control.

Scheduling is much easier.

I recently started saying no to particular things. In particular, free favors to my peers without some kind of compensation or favor in return. Doing so has greatly increased my content production speed, decreased my stress-level, and I have 1 less thing to schedule. Occasionally I’ll say no to more major opportunities, but I have a hard time remembering them simply because I spend the time saved doing something else, say, writing a Medium article.

Nevertheless, I still really enjoy the mental benefits of saying no. No means personal freedom/liberation that I get to dedicate to my things.

The question remains…

If Yes and No have their benefits, which should I say?


Millionaires say both yes and no, regardless of what the articles that you have read say. Everyone successful has to find their own balance, their own system. The important thing is to be consistent.

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