How the Word “No” Can Make You More Productive
Are you taking on task after task to help out your team and falling further and further behind?
Are you pulling your hair out and sobbing privately in the restroom because you’re not sure how you’re going to get caught up? Is the stress of it all making life after work miserable and unbearable?
Here’s a little tip that can help you quickly manage your time. Just say “no”.
Why Saying No Is So Important
We all want to prove that we’re an asset to our team. We don’t want to be looked at as lazy or a failure. But while we’re trying to figure out how we can make everyone else happy, we’re not considering ourselves.
In order to perform, we need to take care of ourselves and our well-being. It’s not being selfish. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Being aware and knowing that you can’t be productive without considering your health and wellness is considering others around you. No one wants to deal with a stressed out hot head or a neurotic mess everyday. Especially one who can’t get the job done. It makes coming to work pretty unbearable.
Stress has an amazing way of changing who we are and how we act. We can become depressed, angry and resentful – affecting us in and out of work. And if we don’t do anything to remedy the stress, we lose focus and find it harder to keep up with day-to-day tasks.
Saying “no” can help you better manage your time and lessen your stress – allowing you to be more productive and happy. You’ll quickly find you’re able to get caught up, take on some “fire alarms” without much worry and feel much more confident.
The Trick to Properly Saying “No”
The word “no” just sounds so, well, negative.
But it doesn’t have to be. No can simply mean, “I don’t have time at the moment, but I will be more than willing to help when I finish up my current workload”. Or it could mean, “Sorry, I really want to help, but I just need to make sure I complete my current tasks so I don’t drop the ball”. Saying “no” isn’t showing a sign of weakness or an unwillingness to do your job. It simply means you don’t have time.
Don’t guilt yourself into taking on more work. Stop worrying about what others think. Know your worth. Realize you work hard everyday and give 100% in everything you do. So when the time comes when you’ve maxed out and need some help, don’t be afraid to let your team know. And if your boss comes over to you and wants you to take on a project when you’ve just scheduled 12 hours of work in an 8 hour day, let them down, nicely.
Saying “no” properly takes tact. Know how to handle the situation at hand. Simply replying with a definitive “NO” isn’t going to help. Have a conversation. Run through your current scheduled workload with your boss or co-worker and show them that you are maxed out at the moment. See if there’s someone else on the team that can assist. If there’s not and they’re insistent that you take on the project, request that the timelines be extended to meet your schedule. If you need to meet a deadline, see if you can rearrange some of your other due dates or reassign some of your tasks to other team members to free up some time.
Give positive options to help manage your time and give your team a resolution to the problem at hand.
You don’t need to be a tyrant or a narcissist. You should still be willing to help others and help make your team amazing. Just make sure that while you’re on the path to greatness, you don’t take on more than you can handle because you’re afraid of upsetting someone. Fear is powerful. Never let it control you. Rely on your team to help you as they rely on you to help them. That’s what a team is all about.