We are today trending socially into adding a very simple, often used word into the category of unspeakable, foul language. That word is NO.
We are losing control of our lives, our careers, and our relationships simply through the fear of using this word.
One might think that I am oversimplifying this, but stop and think, how many times in the last several weeks have you been asked to do something, allow something to happen, take on responsibilities for which you know you currently do not have any time, or said yes because you think it is to your advantage even though you may know you are ill-prepared and time starved, or simply just plain incapable of meeting the obligations and responsibilities that flow from saying yes.
The number of times I have seen this happen in the business world are almost uncountable. People accept positions, tasks, obligations, or just make promises that they know they cannot keep due to time constraints or just plain inability to accomplish these obligations, all from the fear of saying NO.
One of the greatest hazards to family, friends, and career relationships is lack of time spent nurturing these relationships. If one thinks about it, there are countless instances one can see either in themselves, friends, relatives, and coworkers of divorces, problems, sometimes severe, with children of all ages, health conditions, failing businesses, lost friendships, all do to the inability to manage our time and, when necessary, say NO.
In the area of careers, it does no good to say yes because one thinks it will look good on their resumes or because one thinks that it will please their superiors if one cannot finish the obligation one has agreed to, or it brings great hazards and suffering to one’s personal life. This also appears when we agree to take on responsibilities in outside charitable or hobby oriented organizations, even if our intentions in doing so are good. We actually do more harm to the charitable or outside organization, by not being able to fulfill the responsibilities we’ve accepted.
You can go to hundreds of seminars, read literally hundreds of books about time management which will do you absolutely no good until you learn to use the word NO. I’m a firm believer in scheduling your time, but it does no good to do this unless you are very realistic and allow time for ALL phases of your life, the most important part being family.
The very next time someone asks you to obligate yourself and your time, even though you may have misgivings about using that dreaded word NO, take the time you need to decide if accepting this responsibility will allow you TIME for all the phases of your life, your family, your friends, your work, and most of all, allow time for YOURSELF. You will find your life less hectic, less stressful, and simply more enjoyable.
Just remember the word yes is not always the best answer, and the word NO is not always unacceptable.