Remember saying “NO” is a good thing sometimes


No matter your role in the business, its not a bad thing to push back every now and again, but remember there’s a professional way to do it – without getting yourself the sack!

Everyone gets the feeling sometimes that they are walking in quick sand, sinking in porridge, overwhelmed with no time to complete the huge to do list they have, the only way to stop this feeling is to stop yourself and readdress your work load and balance out what can be done and the time-frames you have in which to prioritise it all.

By saying “NO” to additional work or offsetting the work you currently have to someone else by delegating it you can help your stress levels and in effect shorten your own to do list, keeping only those things that are truly your responsibility on there.

Its not the easiest thing to say – “NO” – but there are ways in which you can push back without it being a scary proposition. So I’ve listed a few ideas that will help you:

  1. If you can’t say no – say not now
  2. If it isn’t urgent, ask to postpone it
  3. If a colleague is more suitable, or better trained for the role request that they help or are given the task due to their skills being better suited
  4. Explain you have a heavy workload and need to prioritise – what is the key task they need you to do
  5. Be less available – We assume people want immediate responses and its not always the case. Unless you have agreed on a delivery time let them wait – your to do list should be prioritised so that you know where you can make time and then you can plan it in.
  6. Suggest Alternatives – sometime work processes exist purely because that’s how its always been done – if you feel there is a better way or that the process is really not needed then explain – could two weekly meeting be made into one?
  7. On the subject of meetings – make them shorter – 45 mins rather than an hour every time will soon free up time in your diary each week
  8. If in doubt re-do your to do list and shorten it- only include those tasks that are priority #1 redo this every day and you will feel more empowered and more satisfied as you will complete your tasks in priority order.
  9. Writing down, completing and striking off is the best feeling of accomplishment and will keep you driven. If time is tight use a dictation app to get your thoughts down – there are apps available that will convert your vocals to type and list. Easy when you know how – now you just need to complete them, one step at a time.
  10. Nike it! Eat your frog! Whatever saying or ethos you are akin with use it to help drive you to get the job done!

By accomplishing your to do list, the prioritised to do list that you have fine-tuned you will feel more satisfied and feel that you accomplish much more. Then perhaps you can say yes to more of the right priority #1 tasks.


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