I’m sure you are a person who likes to help others. However, you may be saying “yes” a little too often. Always saying “yes” to friends asking favors and “yes” to coworkers’ requests can become too much. I suggest that you occasionally say “no” three times.
Of course, we want to be nice and to be liked. Unfortunately, that could cause us to spend so much time doing things for others that we won’t have time for our own priorities.
How to Say No
Learning to say no is an important part of simplifying your life and managing your time. The key is to learn to say “no” three times, because even the best salespeople rarely close four times.
When you say no to a new commitment, you’re honoring your existing obligations. It gives you time to focus on what you believe is the best use of your time.
Saying “yes” all of the time will exhaust you. Saying “yes” may avoid an awkward moment now, but over time you may become angry, resentful, over-extended, and stressed, because you will start to feel people are taking advantage of you.
Practice simply saying, “No” and give the reason. Such as, “I am working a project that will take the rest of the day.” When they say, “But you like doing things like this.” Say, “No.” And give the same reason. “I’m working a project that will take the rest of the day.” When they try, again, by saying, “Could you take a look at it?” Say, “No.” And give the same reason. “I’m working on a project that will take the rest of the day.” They will probably leave you alone and let you work on your project for the rest of the day.
It may seem easier to say “yes,” but in the long run, you will realize that you have lost control of your life. If your answer is always “yes,” then your choices are not yours, they are provided to you by others. Use more restraint when considering requests from others and practice saying “No” three times.
It is a great personality trait to be helpful, however, try not to get pulled into requests that are distractions that jeopardize your priorities and values.
If you, or members of your organization, are struggling with time management, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will provide a presentation packed with time management strategies that work.