You have a jam-packed schedule that takes you from morning to night. You have very little time to yourself, yet when someone calls to ask you to do an extra task or for a favor you almost always say yes. You ultimately end up feeling tired, frustrated, and a little bit used. Does this scenario sound familiar? If so, it’s time to start saying no when your plate is already full. Keep the following in mind:
- Know your priorities and honor them. If you’ve made a commitment to one thing, then you’ll need to say no to a new one in order to honor the original. There is nothing to feel guilty about. There’s nothing wrong with being honorable.
- Answer quickly. Don’t think about it. Don’t lead on the person asking you for something. You know what your schedule looks like. Give a short explanation and apologize if you must, but give the person the courtesy of your honesty so he can move on to find the help he needs.
- Thank the person for thinking of you and asking you to participate, leaving the door open for future projects or activities.
- Simply explain you have a prior commitment. This is especially important when you receive last-minute requests you want or need to decline.
- There is no reason for you to try to do things you’re not comfortable with. If someone asks you to do something you don’t know how to do, let them know; and maybe help them find someone who can.
- Saying no sometimes means negotiating. For example, you may not say no to a project but you may need to say no to an unrealistic deadline.
- If you know someone else has less work to do, recommend that person be sought out.
- Don’t let people wear you down. Say no more than once if you have to. Don’t let anyone force you to say yes.
You deserve to sleep a full night, have time with your family, and have a less stressful life. Go ahead. Say no. You’re still a nice person and no one will blame you in the end.