7 Reasons You Should be Saying No More Often

Saying no can provide you with more freedom

7 Reasons You Should be Saying No More OftenIn todays busy do it now environment, many people feel that they’ve lost control of their lives? Have you lost control? Are you spending too much time on activities and responsibilities you don’t enjoy? There’s a good chance that saying no more often would bring some relief and gain you some freedom. Most of us feel uncomfortable saying no. But no other word can provide more freedom.

7 reasons you should be saying no more often:

1. You’ll have more free time. Are you lacking the free time necessary to pursue your hobbies and interests? Is it possible that you’d have more free time if you had declined a few requests? You’re more able to help others if you also give yourself priority. There’s nothing left to give if you don’t allow yourself to unwind.

  • Decide how much free time you need each week and stick to that schedule.

2. Saying no gives you more control over your life. When you say “yes” to others too often, you’re allowing them to dictate your schedule for you.

  • Happiness is elusive when you don’t believe you have control over your life. Do what you can to help others, but never give up control over your life.

3. You have a better chance of achieving your goals. When you say “yes,” you’re helping others reach their goals. Give yourself the same consideration. Your goals are important, too. Ensure you have enough time to address your own dreams, and if you don’t, commit to start saying no more often.

  • You can’t achieve a big goal without giving it consistent attention. How much time do you require to work toward your goals?

4. You’re able to set boundaries. Relationships with friends, family, coworkers, neighbours, and romantic partners all require boundaries. Otherwise, your neighbours would be borrowing your car every day, and your lover might be spending the weekend with someone else! Avoid being afraid of saying no when the situation calls for it.

  • There are certain limits on each person in your life. You can choose and enforce those limits with one simple word.

5. Saying no keeps your values intact. Sometimes we’re asked to do things that sacrifice our values. Your friend might ask you to lie to his wife so he can meet his mistress. Your boss might ask you to fudge the numbers in order to make him look better.

  • When you’re asked to do something that conflicts with your values, you can and must protect your integrity by saying no.

6. Other people won’t be able to take advantage of you. If you haven’t been taken advantage of, you haven’t been paying attention. Whether it’s loaning £10 for fuel or watching your neighbour’s pet for the weekend, we’ve all be hung out to dry at least a few times. You can refuse to take part in any activities that might lead to a loss.

  • You don’t have to let others take advantage of your kindness. It’s not admirable. It’s self-destructive. Have respect for yourself and expect respect from others, too.

7. You realize that people aren’t as sensitive to rejection as you think. People that struggle to say the word “no” believe that the other person will be upset or hold it against them. You’ll likely find that the other person will understand your refusal. The next time will be even easier.

I’m not suggesting saying no to every request. After all, we’d like other people to do things for us occasionally. But saying “yes” to everything creates stress and eliminates our free time. This isn’t acceptable. Value your time and energy. You’ll have more to give if you take care of yourself first and the best way of doing that is to consider if saying no will be better for you than saying yes.

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Till Next Time

Mike Gardner is The Time Doctor

Mike Gardner aka ‘The Time Doctor’ and is highly regarded as one of the UK’s leading Time Management and productivity specialists. As well as being regularly featured in both online and off-line media outlets around the world, he is the author of the best selling time management book, Business Owners: Your Family Misses You. He regularly speaks on topics that are congruent with his mission of helping small business owners, entrepreneurs and independent professionals to be incredibly productive, whilst still balancing their business and family commitments in a way that enables them to feel fulfilled and guilt-free. He is an avid Aston Villa fan, a Dad to Neil & Emma, a hubby to Wendy and in his role as an Officer with the reserve forces, he has completed operational tours of Iraq and Afghanistan.

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18 thoughts on “7 Reasons You Should be Saying No More Often

  1. Hi Mike,

    Boy, is this a kick in the pants for me! I rarely say no because I always considered myself a people person and crowd pleasure, but I also know I constantly complain that I have no time in my day to do EVERYTHING that should take priority!

    I wonder why that is? :)

    This post is a wake-up call for me, and I thank you for sharing it! It’s time to make some changes!

    – Bonnie
    Bonnie Gean recently posted…How to Create a Dazzling Pie Chart in PowerpointMy Profile

  2. Great post Mike.

    I had the hardest time learning to say no when I made the move from freelancing to creating my own products. It was always hard to turn the money now. It took a while but now I have no problem in saying no to offers, I actually pass them off to a couple of other freelancers I know, so it keeps them happy.
    Sue recently posted…My Email List is Too Small to Promote To!My Profile

    • Thanks Sue, I think everyone struggles when they make that decision to stop freelancing, because as you say its hard to turn the money down, but if we’re strong and say no, it comes right in the end

  3. No Mike, No… This post really hit home for me, as I am one of those people who say YES too often as I don’t want to hurt peoples feelings. I also like helping people and I have clients that take advantage of this.

    Saying NO is something I need to practice more often. Not only will it free up some of my time, it will also help me get rid of clients that are unreasonable.
    Duane Reeve recently posted…What you need to know to run a successful blogMy Profile

  4. Mike, I really enjoy your post. I am one of the people you are speaking about. You are spot on in your comments. I am slowly trying to learn to say no, because I am spreading myself too thin! Because of my age, my time has become more valuable to me.
    Roy Miller recently posted…Shiny ObjectsMy Profile