Learning to say no is difficult for many; whether it’s your boss, a friend, or a family member asking for a favor, sometimes it is just difficult to say “no”.

But taking on more responsibilities when time your own time is limited can cause health concerns. Saying yes when you should say no can cause burnout, sleep deprivation, unnecessary stress, and feelings of inadequacy or frustration.

Many people struggle with saying no because they don’t want to come across as selfish, or they don’t want a friend to be mad or disappointed in them for not helping. In truth, by saying no you are honoring your existing obligations. And, a good friend will understand that you’re busy and can’t handle another commitment.

When approached with a favor or an extra assignment, take time to consider the request. How much time will it take for you to deliver quality work if you were to say yes? Does it fit into your schedule and your current workload? If you take on the extra work, will it benefit you or move you forward?

It’s also important to consider what you will be missing out on if you do decide to say yes. Will you have to give up time with family or friends? Will you lose out on your allotted “me” time? Consider the rest of your obligations and prioritize before saying yes or no. Is the new commitment important to you? If so, go for it. If not, it’s perfectly okay to say no.

In the beginning of October, Omaha Counseling posted a photo on our Facebook page with helpful phrases on how to say no:

  • I’d like to, but I’m unable to at this time.
  • Thank you for the opportunity, but I can’t right now.
  • I’m going to say no for right now. If something changes, I’ll let you know.
  • I just don’t have the time for that right now.
  • I’m honored that you would ask me, but I just can’t right now.

The desire to do your job well and be a team player are both great qualities to have. Sometimes, taking on extra assignments is necessary, and you shouldn’t turn down every request. It’s important to find a balance. If your attention is being diverted from the most important activities of your day, it’s time to reconsider your tendency to say yes without considering what is at stake.

If you have any questions about this blog post, please don’t hesitate to comment or reach out. To set up an appointment to see Reka, you can reach her at 402-881-8125. You can also email her at reka@omaha-counseling.com, or connect with her via Twitter or Facebook.

photo credit: star5112 via photopin cc