If you find yourself always taking on more than you can handle, you probably have a problem with saying no. It makes you feel guilty, right? But when you say yes when you wanted to say no, that makes you feel worse.
When someone is looking for help, they’re going to call the first “yes” they think they can get. They call you because you’ve established the reputation of being that easy “yes.” Here’s how to turn that around.
The next time you get asked to help, and you know you don’t have time, don’t just say no. Learn how to say it without the guilt. Take these four steps:
Instead of: “No, I can’t do it.” (This will make you feel guilty.)
Try this: “What a great idea! Unfortunately, I don’t have the extra time to devote to such a worthwhile cause. I wish you the best with this and hope you’ll let me know how it turns out!”
Once you say no, remove yourself from the situation so they can’t keep trying to convince you. Say it and get out of there, get off the phone, or bow your head and get back to work. It’ll be tough to do this at first, but the more you try it, the easier it’ll get.
Another way to say no is to say yes first. For example: “Can you do this work for less?”
It’s often hard to get your own work done because you’re so busy helping everyone else. You can be a good community citizen or outstanding team player without always putting your needs and desires last.