May
19

Learning to Say – ‘No’

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Any plan of Time Management needs a strong foundation. Part of that foundation is being able to say the word we find the hardest to say – “No.”

Think about it: you practice good time management; you have your to-do lists to keep you on track. And as soon as you get settled in and start working.

Somebody comes to you for help with something they are doing. So you get up and go see what the problem is. And the problem almost every time is that they want to dump most of their work in your lap. You had already agreed to help, so what can you do but take the stack of work back to your desk and try to figure out where in your time management you can remove an existing entry to accommodate your co-worker’s pile of work.

Does this sound familiar? It is unfortunately a common practice in many companies.

There are two things to know about saying “No.”

First, you must realize it is okay to say no. If you do not have the time available, for example, it is easy enough to say “I’m sorry but I don’t have time to help you with this.”

Second, learn when and how to say “no.” A flat “no” can have a poor effect on your coworker or manager.

The fact is, by saying “no” to projects you don’t have time for or tasks that aren’t your responsibility, you are defending yourself, your workload, and your time management as being just as important to the company as whatever they try to add to your workload.

Saying “no” is an important skill, not only at the office but also at home, in stores, on mass transit, anywhere. Be polite but firm, and once you have said it stick to that decision no matter how anyone tries to change your mind.

Remember that your work is as valid as theirs, and your time is just as valuable. Be civil and as brief as possible when you say “no.”

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