It’s New Year’s Resolution time and if you’re like most people, increasing work productivity is at the top of your list. You want to get more done, and get better results from what you do.
Begin by facing the reality: You don’t know how to say No. Saying No to the requests of others is an activity many people find difficult. There are many emotional and social consequences attached to it — it’s much more easily said than done. But, it’s vital to getting more accomplished each week.
When to Say No:
First, get it out of your head that I’m asking you to stiff-arm your boss. I’m not talking about ducking out of your commitments. What I am talking about are the various small requests, favors, and minutes-to-spare you lend out. The tiny requests of others can fill a roomful of your time each month.
Say No when:
• It doesn’t fit your job description
• Your weekly goals don’t mesh with the request
• Your time is fully budgeted to important tasks
• The request helps you procrastinate
• You will suffer in terms of time, money, tasks, or other resources
Remember: if requests from others are indeed important to you, then they should already be included in your weekly or daily plan.
How to Say No:
Saying No is hard. You often feel guilty, obligated, or responsible to the person who is making the request. Perhaps you’re a “people pleaser” who derives self-worth from coming to the aid of others. These are understandable conditions, but your own success is at stake here.
The thing is, saying No doesn’t have to involve you being mean, inconsiderate, tough, or stubborn. What it does involve is setting healthy boundaries for you and your plans.
Here are some tips:
• No is a harsh, abrupt word that doesn’t fit a polite response. Instead, choose a phrase that works for you, like “I’m going to have to pass, it doesn’t fit my schedule and priorities.”
• Don’t say Maybe, or offer a non-decisive response in an attempt to avoid conflict. Maybes always come back and haunt you later when you’re even busier.
• Offer an alternate solution, such as a suggestion how the individual can complete the task on their own or with help from another resourse
• Be confident. Keep your day planner updated and handy at all times as a valuable tool for knowing your daily and weekly schedule
Say Yes to Yourself
So, here’s the twist: Don’t say No to others, say Yes to yourself. At least, think of it that way.
Yes, it sounds like cheesy motivational-speak, but it’s truthful: Your plans come first. If you create your own weekly priorities, and you create balance in your commitments, and you want to cross things off your own to-do list, then you have every right to stick to this plan. Change your mindset and have a successful year!
[photo by Omarukai]
|Day-Timer Spokesperson Jeff Doubek can be reached at [email protected]|