Saying ‘Yes’ : “Can I …

Posted on July 31, 2012


Saying ‘Yes’ : “Can I say ‘no’ gracefully, without excuse or embarrassment?” If not, you probably take on too many tasks – some tasks that you shouldn’t have agreed to perform in the first place. One of the best ways to save time is to say no. The old adage, “If you want a job done, give it to a busy person,” is fine, but only to a point.
Most people feel some obligation to please others, and that’s OK. But if your days are consumed by “doing for others”, then you may be diluting the effectiveness of what you are doing. The cure? Take a greater thought when you commit your time. When asked to serve on another committee or to “help out for a few minutes,” take a few minutes of your own to ponder the priority of the task. Then get back to the “asker” with a rational reply. Practice not feeling guilty when you say no. You should feel flattered that you were deemed trustworthy and capable of carrying out an undertaking – but you need not accept it: “Sorry, not this year…”, “Thanks for asking, but my time and commitments just won’t allow me to do that right now.”

Anderson, S.W. (1992). The Great American Bathroom Book vol. 1. Salt Lake City: Compact Classics.

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