The benefit of saying “No”

The benefit of saying “No”

“It’s only by saying no that you can concentrate on the things that are really important.”
— Steve Jobs

Most of us commit ourselves to too many things.

We say “yes” more often than we should and then wonder why we feel so overwhelmed.

In moments like this, it’s important to remember that time is our most valuable resource. As they say, “you can always make more money, but you can’t make more time.”

Therefore, we need to be conscious of how we spend it.

The most valuable activities should be prioritised and the least valuable ones turned down. The clearest way to identify which is which is to be clear about your goals.

What is it that you want to achieve in your life and in your career?

Once you have those goals defined, the easier it becomes to say “no” to things. All you need to do is ask yourself “will this contribute meaningfully to helping me achieve my goals?”

If it does, then do it. If it doesn’t, then don’t.

This is a large part of what makes successful people who they are. They are focused on doing the things that get them closer to their goals and they politely decline the rest.

This ability to say “no” over what’s unimportant gives us a healthy sense of control. It helps us to avoid doing things simply because we feel obligated to or to avoid the fear of missing out (FOMO).

So, before saying “yes” to the next invitation, pause for a moment and ask yourself the following:

  • Is this self-imposed?

  • Is this really necessary?

  • Is this helping me achieve my goals?

Your answers will tell you what to do.

In the end, making better use of your time will make you more productive and more fulfilled.


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