Learn to say “no” to actions and conversations that waste your time.

#4 Mondays Top Time Tip

Learn to say “No!”Finding yourself overwhelmed at work or thinking there aren’t enough hours in the day to complete a task or project might mean that you’re having problems setting boundaries – and saying, “no!”

Many people find it hard to say “no” because they want to be seen as helpful and agreeable. On the other hand, many people resist saying no because they believe that doing so will lead to conflict.

When you answer “yes,” to every request that comes your way you’ll likely suffer negative consequences that can hinder your productivity and eventually – your success. In fact, whenever you say “yes” to something or someone, you’re saying “no” to yourself.

Many of us put off the important tasks that would help ourselves get ahead to tackle small requests from others. This often leads to late or low quality project results.

You might find yourself working longer hours just to keep up with all the extra requests. Losing sleep and neglecting other parts of your life won’t help you in the long run.

You might even develop a reputation of being a “go to” kind of person, but unreliable when it comes to getting the work in on time or presenting it properly.

However, if you learn to say “no” you will be considered to be professional and be given more respect. You will also suffer less stress and give yourself more time to be able to do a task as thoroughly as you want to, instead of always feeling rushed and pressured to get it done, and never being happy with results.

You can read this post for some tips on saying “no” to family, friends and colleagues and remember as the author Susan Gregg says

“No is a complete sentence and so often we forget that. When we don’t want to do something we can simply smile and say no. We don’t have to explain ourselves, we can just say “No”

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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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4 thoughts on “Learn to say “no” to actions and conversations that waste your time.

  1. I so agree with this, as most people do not decline things often enough, so you end up doing other people’s work in addition to your own.
    I would like to add something else – if you have a Boss, who asks you to do something, you might feel you have to say “yes” even though you don’t have time, and every sensible cell in your body is screaming out “NO”, but you can’t say that can you? . . . .
    . . . so the answer is a much longer one: “Yes, I can do that for you, but not until (a week on Tuesday, or when ever you DO have time to fit it in.)
    I’ve found that when given this response, most people will pull back, and either say “I need it before then, I’ll ask someone else” (hooray, it went away without you say the N word) or the more persistent ones demand it sooner, to which you have another response lined up “Well, I can do it earlier, but which one of these other jobs should I bump back to make space for your one?” (but put much more nicely). Once again, the requester sees that you really are busy, you ARE offering to help, and it becomes his/her challenge to prioritise it before or after the things already in your workload.

    I hope this is helpful.

  2. I say yes to this post! I think it’s difficult to say ‘no’, often also to myself. There are so many things I’d like to do but end up doing nothing. At the workplace I work in a team of yes-sayers meaning that we are all very stressed out and seen as some kind of wonder-women. I will try to start saying ‘no’ more often as I think it will improve the quality of what I do.

    • It is difficult to do Susann, but it is also an essential skill to learn and doing so will definitely increase you quality of work as you will have more time to do it. More importantly it will help to reduce stress, take care