To successfully own your business, you have to find a balance between work and life. And finding that balance often means knowing when to say no. People shy away from saying no for fear others will dislike or resent them. But saying no when you honestly know you can’t take on another volunteer project, answer another interruption, or be late for another meeting is important for maintaining your sanity. It’s a lot like going to the gym. You dread it up until the time you’re finished. Then you realize it was the right thing to do.
You are in the driver’s seat for how you let people treat you. Below are a variety of ways to keep you there:
1. Say no three times in the mirror every morning.
love to take credit for this one, but I can’t. It’s a tip that has been passed down through generations of women at my church. If you constantly get asked to volunteer or take on more than you can, say no three times in the mirror every morning. Then when someone asks you to volunteer your time or take on something extra, you can honestly respond by saying, “Thank you for thinking of me, however I’ve already said no three times today, so it just wouldn’t be fair.”
2. Make everything an appointment.
If you often find yourself crunched for time between meetings or as you head out the door after work, it’s time to set boundaries. Explain to the other person you have another appointment/meeting to get to, and politely excuse yourself. Your obligation could be anything from picking children up from school to locking yourself in your office to meet a deadline. There is no need to go into detail about what the appointment or meeting is. Not only are you gently telling the other person no (and letting them save face) but you are also telling yourself no. No to lack of time management. No to feeling frazzled. No to feeling like you are at the whim of others.
3. Turn off interruptions throughout the day.
Say no to interruptions by simply turning them off. Set your email auto-responder and voicemail. Explain that you are currently unavailable and let people know when you’ll return. When your time is up, respond to messages immediately. A similar method can be used with children. When you need time to get things done around the house, set a timer. Explain to your children they need to entertain themselves until the timer goes off. When it does, end what you’re doing and join them.
4. Just say it…and end with a positive.
Sometimes you just have to be direct. There is no other way around it. But saying no doesn’t mean you’re cruel and self-centered. If you think your no is going to cause a problem end it with a positive. “No, I can’t write a 255 page report for tomorrow morning’s meeting. But I can create a short presentation containing the important points.” Set your boundaries but offer an olive branch. It keeps them happy and keeps you sane.
Learning to say no when you really need to is a huge step in the direction of growing your business and maintaining work/life balance. It also helps you appreciate all the times you can say yes.
So how do you put a halt on being overextended?
By Morgan L. Leu Parkhurst
Source Shar MIND Marketing