Productivity Tip: Learn how to say no
Those of you who have no trouble saying no can just skip the rest of this post.
Some of you, however, may be like me. I like making people happy and don’t like disappointing them. I also dislike conflict. I like helping people. So when people ask me for things, I used to usually say yes….even when I knew I’d probably regret it later.
I’m gradually learning how to say no.
While it’s true that saying yes to one “just have a quick favor to ask, would appreciate just a few minutes of your time” is no problem, saying yes to a LOT of these favors accumulates. And in my experience, “just a few minutes” inevitably turns into hours or sometimes days.
What’s hardest: saying no to projects that DO sound like a lot of fun and/or worthy and that I really, really want to do. There are many of these. One of my challenges (and I suspect some of you feel similarly): I want to do EVERYTHING. There are so many good causes, so many people I want to help, so many projects I’d love to be a part of.
By saying no more often, however, I’m able to focus and enjoy the projects I say “yes” to more fully AND have more flexibility about when I do take on a new project.