Sometimes, it’s best to just say NO. For many of you, this may be hard–even inconceivable–because you’re young, willing to work harder than ever, building a career, and trusting that there can be something valuable to learn from any experience! This is a good attitude to have, but it’s totally unsustainable.
Saying ‘yes’ and agreeing to everything means you’re going to end up with a lot of responsibilities. It may also mean that you’re given a lot of opportunities, true, but at the end of the day, you also run the risk of being taken advantage of.
Remember: Being positive and helpful is good, but you should also hold your own personal priorities in high regard. In the same vein, saying yes to too much can have a negative impact on your performance at work, and you must be clear about that tipping point with your superiors.
According to John Rampton of Entrepreneur.com, you can practice saying no, and there are ways to do it without feeling guilty! Read his perspective below.
First of all, as I alluded to above, know your own value. Understand your mental and physical capacities, and don’t allow yourself to be overloaded simply because someone else needs your help. Then, literally, look at yourself in a mirror and say, “No.” Just say it over and over in the tone you’d expect to say it to another person. Normalize the word for yourself.
When you actually find a situation where “no” is your best response, offer an alternative. If someone is asking you for coffee but your schedule is full, clearly say the word “no” in your response, but offer a chat on the phone eventually. If your boss is overloading you, offer a later deadline on your newest task, or suggest a potential colleague to whom you could delegate.
In some no-worthy scenarios, you can also avoid responding immediately. Let them know that you have to get approval from someone else, check your calendar or schedule, or even take a day to think about whatever their proposal is. Then, return to them with the appropriate answer! Simple as that.
Finally, always remember to be courteous. If someone is making you an offer, you can politely decline and thank them at the same time. At the very least, you can always offer an apologetic “sorry, I can’t!”