- November 25, 2011
Special Guest Post by Janice Russell, Productivity Strategist
Many people tell me that they don’t have enough time each day to complete the tasks they “need” to finish. While we all have 24 hours each day and there isn’t anything we can do to increase the number of hours, there are some techniques and tips which can help you increase the amount of usable time each day. One of the most underutilized techniques is using the word “no” effectively.
Do you frequently get asked to volunteer your time? Do friends and family continuously hound you for favors and to run errands? Take back your time and learn to say “no” without feeling guilty.
To get started, ask yourself if there are some activities which you “volunteered for” which you no longer enjoy. If the answer is “yes” then you have several options.
- First, plan an exit strategy for a current activity you wish to relinquish by deciding who to delegate it to and the date by which it will be delegated.
- Second, do not accept a new task unless you “delete” a current activity.
- Third and most important, next time someone asks you to do something say, “I need to check with my calendar/spouse, etc. Can I get back to you in a couple of days?” If they say “no”, state, “I am unable to give you an answer without consulting my schedule, so my answer is ‘no’.” Otherwise, check your calendar, family, and your own desires. If the answer is “no”, inform the person nicely but firmly, “I am unable to take on a new activity at this time, I wish you success in your endeavor.” Do not make excuses because it may give the other person an “in” to convince you to change your mind.
You will need to find words that work for you. But if you have statements ready when someone asks for your time, saying “no” will feel more natural.
Empower yourself to take control of your time!