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Learn To Say “No.” Work Hard, But Enjoyment Should Always Be a Goal

Estimated reading time: 3 mins

A Guest Post by Helen Birk

The situation when you take upon yourself odd responsibilities or work when you can’t say “no” to your boss or colleagues, is quite popular. It complicates a lot the working process as you have to do unplanned things. As a result, your productivity is falling. And what is more important you lose interest to your occupation as it always associates with anxiety and fatigue.

Do you recognize yourself in described situation?

Do you feel empty and exhausted till the end of the working day?

The ability to say no is one of the most important time management tips and we’ll explain why.

What is the reason of your inability to say no?

You don’t understand exactly your responsibilities and duties

Usually, an employee who can’t say “no” doesn’t have a notion of what he must and what he mustn’t do during the working day. The first you should do when you start arranging your time management activities is to learn the exact volume of what you must do during a day. This will help a lot to make priorities and bring discipline to your work schedule – hardly important time management activities.

A fear of being not competent worker

You create an illusion that your refusal will create an impression of you as an incompetent and unskillful employee. Be fair with yourself and admit your fear – this is the first step on how to accept it.

It may seem that the more you do – the more you can show your skills and efficiency.

But what is competence? This is a total of your work skills, your productivity, personal charisma and let’s don’t forget about good mood. Do you think it is fair to yourself and to your occupation always be tired and in a bad mood? All this you obtain when you are not aware how to manage time.

A fear of not being nice person

This fear is caused by two reasons:

Low self-esteem. In this case, you pay for love and respect of people you can’t refuse.

You consider a refusal as rudeness. Are you ready to obtain a refusal? This is absolutely normal that you may hear “yes” or “no.” And vice versa – if someone forces you to do what you don’t want or just can’t-do – be fair but always polite. Bear in mind that your productivity is reliant on your ability to take care of yourself. This is one of the secrets of effective time management – taking care of yourself by doing fewer things effectively.

Why being able to say “no” is so important?

Saying “no” is not egoistic

Sometimes when you say “yes” you take the responsibilities that hang over you as a burden.

Think twice before taking them – ask yourself if you really wish and have time to do other’s work.

When you say, it doesn’t mean at all that you disrespect your colleague – you only show respect for yourself and for the tasks that you have to do now.

It is unhealthy for your body and mind

Having a lot of responsibilities and tasks is a big stress for you. Taking odd tasks will prorogue odd stress. Are you ready to sacrifice your health for someone’s success, recognition or gratitude? Learning some time management techniques will help to keep your health safe and sound.

How to say “no” and feel good?

Say it fast and confidently. Don’t explain why you can’t to accomplish the task now – it may seem like excuses. Don’t use uncertain expressions “I don’t know” or “I’ll think about it.” Now you don’t want to take it on yourself, get rid of the idea that you may change your mind or invent something later – just say “no.”

Don’t feel sorry or guilty for your refusal.

Feeling sorry is only a matter of choice. Nobody can make you feel it.

Be honest.

You shouldn’t invent inexistent reasons for refusal. You own the right of planning your time as you like. If you wanted to have a rest for a while – go for it without any doubt.

Question: When I refuse to say “No” to a chief or a colleague, what part of me says “Yes” at this moment?


About the author: Helen Birk is a freelance writer at UK EduBirdie. She creates individual programs for people who want to raise the quality of their lives, to improve their health or relationships with others.

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About the author /


Simon is a creative and passionate business leader dedicated to having fun in the pursuit of high performance and personal development. He is co-founder of Applied Change, a Business Change consultancy based in the UK. Simon is also an Ambassador for Gloucestershire business. Simon is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Professional Development.

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