One of the very best ways to manage your time is to learn to say no. Saying no is a great way to control how you spend your time and take your power back. Most of us don’t know how to say no because our parents taught us very well not to say no. Many two-year-olds love saying no, but they are quickly taught that the word no is very unacceptable. But it’s time to take back the power of no and earn more time in your day for doing what you really want to do.
- You’ll Reduce Your Stress – One of the worst things about overscheduling your time is the stress that it will cause. Learning to say no will automatically reduce your stress, even if the first few times you say no will be a little stressful. The freedom you experience will soon overshadow the fear of saying no.
- You’ll Be Perceived as More Professional – No one person can do everything. If you already have something scheduled and can’t do something, it is to be expected of a professional person. You don’t even have to provide a reason; just say that your calendar is full.
- You’ll Improve at Tasks You Really to Want to Do – If you’re not spending time doing stuff you hate doing, you’ll get to spend more time doing things you want to do. That means you’ll get more practice and become better at the things you already like doing.
- You Get to Spend Time Doing What You Want to Do – No one wants to spend time doing things they dislike doing, but they tend to say yes due to the lessons others may have taught them. If you really want to spend more time writing or helping your clients solve their problems, say no to doing things you don’t want to do and recommend someone else.
- People Will Respect You More – Even really good people lose respect for those who act like doormats. You probably don’t want to appear as a doormat; you’re just trying to be helpful. But even nice people will take advantage of those who say yes all the time. That’s why you’ll notice it’s always the same three people doing all the work in any group. The “yes” people.
- Saying No Gives You the Opportunity to Say Yes – This may sound counter-intuitive but it’s true. If you learn to say no to things that don’t advance your business or life in any measurable way, you’ll have more time to say yes to things that do.
- You Won’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew – People who say yes to everything tend to do most things half-way. They don’t mean to, but they get too much on their plate and end up not being able to do the tasks they agreed to do to the best of their ability. If you say no, you can avoid this embarrassment.
Pause, Breathe Deeply, Check Your Calendar
In order to say no without a problem, when someone asks you to do something, even if it’s something you know immediately that you do want to do, make it a practice to take a pause, take a breath, and check your calendar. The act of calendar checking can give you time to put some thought into whether or not you want to say yes or no.
Saying no can truly give you back enough time to create the life that you really want to live. If you’re feeling hurried and overwhelmed take the time to practice saying no. By saying no you’ll take control of your schedule and feel like you get more time in your day.