Say No At Least Once a Week
In the short term… yes is always easier. You make people happy! You avoid confrontation…. Yet, in the long-term saying yes to something that doesn’t fit into your goal or that you just don’t want to do ends up feeling like a burden. You waste time and feel bad when you aren’t giving the task 100% (because you didn’t want to do it in the first place.
Saying no to things you don’t want to do is a bit like building up a muscle. You need to start small and work up to fiercely protecting your boundaries.
For the next month or so, start saying no to something at least once a week.
How to choose what to say no to? Create a bit of a checklist for yourself.
- Look at your goals – does this task move you toward any of them?
- Look at your schedule – do you even have time?
If the task fits your goals and you have time…. then say yes. If it doesn’t then no is the right answer.
When you do say no, you don’t owe anyone a reason with few exceptions. However, here are some reasons and ways that you can say no more often.
If You Already Know Say So
Sometimes you simply know that you don’t want to do something no matter what. Instead of putting people off or saying yes just to avoid the issue, start saying no right away. For example, if you have a friend involved in an MLM and constantly asks you to come to parties or buy things, but you already have the entire cookware collection – start saying no and ask them to stop asking you.
Say I’ll Think About It
You don’t have to give people answers right away about anything. This can help you reduce the pressure on yourself to say yes to anything. Start making it a habit always to say, “Let me check my schedule. I’ll get back to you by 3 pm on Friday with my answer.” This way, they can wait patiently, and you can ensure that you want to say yes or no.
Always Check Your Schedule
Even if your first thought is that it’s something you want to do, you must always check your schedule before saying yes. You may be over booked already, and even if you’re going to say yes, you need to say no. Doing this will ward off burnout. Stretching yourself too thin is bad for you and everyone else that depends on you too.
Sometimes you can’t do what your customer or the person wants, but you can turn your no into a yes in the recipient’s mind. If you know someone who can do the thing being asked of you better, tell them about it. If you can offer some help but not exactly what was asked for, say exactly that to the person.
One thing to remember is that you don’t have to be part of everything in your community. Saying no allows others to step up. Suppose you’re the type that runs your PTA, a small business, and more than two or three community organizations and clubs. You’re probably doing too much. Let others shine and take your time back. Your friends and family and you will thank you.