Just Say No
You’ve heard that busy people just keep getting busier? Or that 80% of the work is done by 20% of the people? That’s because people that get things done are the first one someone thinks about when something needs to be done. That's why we need to learn to Just Say No.
Kevin Kruse, author of 15 Secrets of Successful People Know about Time Management, reminds us that every Yes to something, is a No to something else. Choose wisely. Just because your schedule is clear three weeks from now, doesn’t mean, as time draws closer, that it won’t fill up with the same types of things you have on your calendar this week.
A quick coffee or a 5-minute telephone call rarely ends up being just that. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t meet for coffee—just carefully consider your options. Set your priorities and try to be true to them. Time for relaxation should definitely be included in your scheduling plans, but keep everything in balance.
If you are struggling with how to say no politely, Kruse has a few suggestions worth investigating. I love the one when he says he’s only available at 2 a.m., as that’s the only time he has free. No one has ever taken him up on it. Check out his book for more ideas.
Although my husband teases me endlessly about not being able to say no, I really have tried to cut back these last two years. What I’ve discovered is that I feel less hurried, and I have time to say yes when the opportunity comes along that I really want to take advantage of. I also try things and then move on. For example, I will agree to help with a committee for one year, rather than taking it on until I’m burnt out with it. That way, I’m getting to help multiple organizations, try out new skills, and make new connections.
It’s okay to say Yes sometimes. But make sure it’s for something you really want to do.