The word “no” can be one of the most powerful words in your vocabulary when properly used. If you value your time, then “no” will become extremely valuable to you.
Learn to say “no” and get used to saying it. It’s surprising how powerful this two letter word is. Say no to distractions, pointless meetings, meaningless work, unproductive tasks, and anything that is getting in the way of what you’re trying and need to accomplish.
In many cases, we are afraid to say no because we do not want to hurt someone’s feelings or rub someone the wrong way. Sometimes, we want to be the nice guy or girl trying to make everyone like you. At least, this has been true for me in the past and many others I know. The truth is, you’re not going to make everyone happy and if you continue to try to do so, you won’t get far.
So, we say yes to going to that party with a friend knowing you have work to do, or you agree to help a coworker with a task when you’re already task saturated. Next thing you know, you’re running around trying to finish up what you originally had planned at the very last minute and your best work is not put into it because it’s rushed, and you didn’t have the time to focus.
You have to say no. It does not mean that you must be a complete jerk about saying no, but you can find polite and simple ways to tell a colleague, friend or family member no when the need arises.
As Steve Jobs once said, “it’s only by saying no that you can concentrate on the things that are really important.”
So, quit trying to please everyone, learn to say no and focus on the things that are important.