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  • Andy Robinson

Stop Saying “Yes” When You Really Mean “No”

Question: Do you tend to “give away” your time too easily?

Too many times we say “yes” to requests for our time because we don’t want to disappoint the OTHER person — it feels like the nice thing to do; it’s the easy alternative; or we simply have a hard time formulating a “no” that “sounds good.”  Saying “no” is not easy. Something to keep in mind that might make it easier: Saying “no” is actually saying “yes” to something else of YOUR choice … something else that is truly important to you; something that completely aligns with your personal or professional goals. Your time is very limited and extremely valuable … do you really want to give it away so easily? If you don’t have time to commit to a new project, to help someone with something, or to fulfill a favor request, then politely and confidently just say “no.” Refusing a new request from friends, family, co-workers, or clients can be difficult, but rarely is it as stressful as over-committing and leaving no time for yourself … or delivering less than optimal performance because you’ve stretched yourself too thin. Seriously and deliberately consider the very next request of YOUR time … ask yourself these questions:

  1. Is the underlying effort and time commitment truly important?

  2. What will you likely be compelled to GIVE UP if you do say yes?

  3. Is it the BEST USE of your limited time?

Saying “NO” is liberating and empowering; be firm, be polite, be respectful, but simply say “no.”

What did YOU say “no” to this week?

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