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Why ‘no’ is the new ‘yes’

Saying ‘no’ isn’t an easy thing to do. At some stage in our lives, we seem to lose the ability to say ‘no’; saying ‘yes’ instead to all manner of tasks, meetings and activities that don’t necessitate our time or attention.
Here are three reasons why ‘no’ should feature more in your vocabulary.

Leave more time for the important stuff
There are only so many hours in the day and unless you want to be working into the night, you’ll have to find a way to focus on the things that are the best use of your time. Agreeing to pick up that extra task or attend that meeting are only going to detract from everything else on your to do list. By working on fewer things and allowing yourself to truly focus on one task at a time, you’ll find you can be more productive and work to a better standard.

Allow others to step up
If you’re a company director, you’ll no doubt be relied upon for making decisions, however big or small. So long as you make yourself available, this will only continue. By not attending so many meetings, you’ll force other members of the team to step up and make some of those decisions. Once they’ve gained the confidence to take decisive action, they’ll be able to do so across a wider scope, taking some of the pressure off your shoulders.

Make your time valuable
Although most people say ‘yes’ because they want to appear helpful and amenable, it can be that people start to view you as a bit of a doormat. The act of saying ‘no’ is not only empowering in itself, it makes your time more of a precious commodity. Once people realise you’re not available at the drop of a hat, they’ll come to value the time you do dedicate to meetings or particular tasks much more.

Nobody wants to be a busy fool. Not only can saying ‘yes’ when you mean ‘no’ result in you wasting your time, you also end up begrudging the time you spend on said activity, risking putting you in a negative frame of mind for the rest of the day’s work. This also applies to agreeing to do work at a reduced rate (refer also to our blog on Picasso and pricing).

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