Learn to say no

by Layla

I have found that learning to say NO has been a big time management lesson for me.

Using goal setting plan and the information on your time management matrix page, I realized that I was having trouble saying "NO" to things that were unimportant.

Now, I work my to-do list, which is in priority order, and think more about other people's requests and how this relates to what is important for me and my family.

I have found that this creates more time for relaxation and space to think about what is important.

Kell's reply: Congratulations on learning to say No. Learning to say No is difficult.

In my experience as a time management consultant it is difficult for two reasons:

  1. we like to maintain good relationships with others, and saying No is perceived by you as damaging this relationship, or

  2. we like to be seen as the go-to person to get things done.

There is nothing wrong with either of these, but the problem starts to occur when you feel overwhelmed, there is inadequate work life balance, and you are not doing a good job on any of the tasks that you have said yes to.

This "yes to all" mentality actually can drop performance in a number of ways and pull you off your most important tasks.

There are a number of strategies that you can use to say No. Some of them involve saying No without actually saying No, and other strategies put the decision back onto the manager or the requester.

While there are a number of strategies to say No, none of these will work if you are not clear on what is really important to you and your work performance.

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