Just Say No … Reclaim Your Precious Time

Labor Day is a good time to reflect on how we work and spend our time. Are you spending your time on what matters most to you? What’s getting in the way? How much control do you really have over how you spend your precious time?

We often find we’re spending time on activities that don’t align with our goals, but we do them anyway because someone requested us to do it. Do you have a hard time saying no, especially if you have a good relationship with the other person? You may feel obligated to agree to requests, but saying yes when you really want to say no can damage relationships. You might feel resentment toward the person and/or fail to perform the request to the best of your ability. At the least, you will not enjoy doing it!

Here are some tips for saying no tactfully.

  • If you are too busy, say no and explain your priorities, so the person understands your situation.
  • If you are willing to say yes at a later time, ask if things can be temporarily postponed. If so, set a specific date. If things cannot be postponed, say no with your reasons.
  • If you can’t decide whether or not to do it, ask for time to think about it. Specify a time when you will have a decision.
  • If you want to say no and encourage future opportunities, decline with your reasons and ask the person to contact you again when you might have more time or more interest.
  • If you are not the best person for the job, decline and suggest someone else who might be better.
  • Just say no.

Remember, your time is precious, and it’s your own to use as you want. Invest your time in activities that produce the results you need for business success and for creating the quality of life you want. Learn to set boundaries. Learning to say no enhances your self-esteem and demonstrates self-respect.

I would love to get your comments and feedback, which you can post below.

All the best,

Keiko Hsu

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