Time is of the essence, and usually always is. There will always be deadlines to meet, and a work/life balance for which to strive. Even in finding that balance, are you still over-committed? Are you able to give the best you have to offer to everything you have to do? Your productivity and activity is a direct result of what you are saying yes and no to.
Seth Godin breaks down some pretty good tips on when you should say no to something:
If you're not proud of it, don't serve it.
If you can't do a good job, don't take it on.
If it's going to distract you from the work that truly matters, pass.
If you don't know why they want you to do this, ask.
If you need to hide it from your mom, reconsider.
If it benefits you but not the people you care about, decline.
If you're going along with the crowd, that's not enough.
If it creates a habit that costs you in the long run, don't start.
If it doesn't move you forward, hesitate then walk away.
The short run always seems urgent, and a moment where compromise feels appropriate. But in the long run, it's the good 'no's that we remember.
On the other hand, there's an imperative to say "yes." Say yes and build something that matters.
Time is something you can never get back. Having your priorities in line with your goals, both for life and professionally, is imperative. But opportunities we’re given, meetings we’re offered, etc. can’t always fit in our schedule. And if you somehow do fit everything in, something somewhere is compromised.
After learning when you should say “no,” learn to actually stand your ground, and confidently decline. Where you answer yes or no to is a huge indicator of where your time is going. Make it count. Whatever you say yes to, make sure you’re able to give it your best.
When saying no to things that are lower priority and that you truly don’t have time to give your best to, you will be more productive and successful in the areas of life you do say yes to. Keep your priorities straight, and guard them with “no.”
Lindsey is a sought after business consultant and big leap coach, writer and presenter to the fitness industry and beyond. For more information follow her on twitter @lindseyrainh2o