Why is the power to say no so important? Productivity isn’t just about getting more done, it’s about getting the right things done. When that happens, you feel less overwhelmed, stressed out and exhausted. This productivity recipe will help you to outline the best ways to say no.
The Power to Say No
Ingredients for The Power to Say No
- A worksheet to help you determine your Say No list.
- The willingness to potentially disappoint others.
- The willingness to potentially feel guilt.
- A set of rules and boundaries (see Preparation)
Preparation (Prep Time: 30 to 45 minutes)
- Create hard rules and boundaries on your resources (time, energy and money) so that those rules and boundaries make decisions easier.
- Always take a 10 minute pause. Before making a commitment to saying yes, tell the other person that you need to check your calendar (or provide some other reason to put off the decision).
- Remove any emotional walls that may create drama when saying no.
Cooking (Cook Time: 1 to 2 hours)
- Decide why you want or feel the need to say no. You do not need to explain yourself to the other person but it will help you stand by your decision.
- Thank the other person for their request.
- Give your answer in simple terms. A long explanation gives the other person more room to convince you otherwise.
- Offer an alternative solution if you are able to.
- Do not feel obligated to justify your no but feel free to express that it is based on your existing rules and boundaries. That removes you from the decision and often ends the discussion.
- We get to decide how we spend our time, not other people.
- For persistent individuals who do not tend to honor your resources, remember that it may require frequent reminders before they understand you will no longer cave to their demands.
Yield: The Power to Say No
When you say no to people, activities and behaviors that are taxing to your time, energy and financial resources, you begin to overcome overwhelm. The ability to effectively and consistently say no means honoring your resources enough to put them ahead of others. This means you have more resources available to the things that are your highest priorities.
The power to say no requires conviction in what you truly value. Because we only have so many resources of time, energy and finances, we are constantly saying no. However, it usually comes by default, rather than by choice.
When you consistently practice saying no, you will develop your own recipes for doing so with grace and ease.
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