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March 30, 2015

Is It Hard for You to Say No?

Saying no is hard for some people, but sometimes we have to be firm, especially with our time. If we take on tasks that we don’t want to do, we can end up resenting the person making the request. If we say yes when we need to say no because of time constraints, we may miss our own deadlines and fail to meet our deliverables. Saying yes when we should say no can sap our energy and productivity.shutterstock_68669356

Here are some tips to help you be more assertive and in control of your time by saying no more often.

  • Focus on your top priorities and use them as criteria to help you decide when you should refuse someone and when you should agree to take on something new. Knowing what you need to accomplish and your own deadlines helps you communicate about conflicting demands on your time. See my blog post Focus to Be More Positively Productive.
  • Leave time in your day to take on the unexpected. When you agree to take on a new task, it is easier to stay on track if you have some wiggle room in your calendar.
  • Be forthright with your no. Give your reasons and, if appropriate, offer options, for example, maybe you can fulfill the request later in the day or tomorrow.
  • Assess the risks associated with saying no. Say yes if the request comes from someone you can’t refuse or if you feel that it would be politically incorrect to refuse.

Taking charge of your time is a key factor in your ability to stay positively productive, and your ability to say no graciously and firmly is a key factor in taking charge of your time!


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