Have you ever felt uneasy about saying no? Are you afraid to refuse a request from a colleague or friend? The answer is probably yes and the results can be disastrous for your time management.
WHY ARE WE SO ANXIOUS ABOUT SAYING NO?
Most people make an effort to maintain good relationships with their work colleagues. Because of loyalty, friendship or fear of missing opportunities, people often say yes to everything. This can lead to being unhappy, overworked and stressed just because you want to be agreeable.
Are you anxious that saying no will make people think you are selfish or rude? Unfortunately, agreeing to do something when you have a lot going on already can cause you stress, frustration and unnecessary pressure. In order to give priority to our own tasks, we really have to learn to say no.
GET BACK IN CONTROL
Learning when to refuse a request can turn out to be extraordinarily empowering. It will allow you to manage your time better, get rid of some tasks and focus on things that matter to you.
Saying no to some requests will give you the capacity to say yes to more important things in your business and in your personal life. Be honest and polite, but be determined and explain your decision where possible.
MUST DO, SHOULD DO, COULD DO
A Mindshop tool we use to help us manage this scenario is the Must-Should-Could tool. Imagine a target with the bulls-eye labelled Must Do. The next ring, Should Do and the outer ring Could Do.
Make a list of all the things you need to do and plot them on the target. Concentrate on the things in your Must Do list. Should Do and Could Do tasks are the tasks you could say no to, or delegate to someone else.
You could also evaluate the things that people request you to do using the Must-Should-Could tool. Where does it fit in your target? Is it more important than what you are currently doing right now? Can somebody in your organisation do the task other than yourself?
START A HABIT OF SAYING NO
If you find yourself taking on extra jobs because you say yes all the time, consider turning down requests and focusing more on your objectives. Learn to set your personal boundaries and start a habit of saying no when you feel it is necessary.
Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.