Saying “no” is one of the hardest things to do. Especially when we have to say no to our family and friends. It also can become a problem in our professional lives. There are times when we feel obligated to perform more work than we can, just because people ask us to take on more. Saying no can make us feel selfish or unconnected with our family, friends, or work teams. But the reality is that we can’t say yes to everything. We have to think of our own mental health, our own energy levels, and our own productivity. Here is why you should be willing to say no, and how you can do so more effectively.

Saying No Can Make You More Productive

Having a hard time saying no? Think about how much more productive you’re going to be once you start adding the word to your vocabulary. Oftentimes when we are too willing to say yes, we find that we’re extremely overextended. And being overextended is associated with a drop in productivity and the quality of our work. That can make you less attractive to management for promotions and the like. Saying no allows you to be more focused on the work you do.

There Are A Lot Of Reasons Why You Don’t Say No

We understand why people don’t say no. We don’t want to seem standoffish. We want to be helpful. We want to build relationships. But those reasons shouldn’t be enough to push us to say yes when we are uncomfortable. It is important to make sure that we place value on our mental health and well-being. We need to be prepared to say no. But there is a right way to do it.

How To Say No–The Right Way

Saying no is hard enough as it is, but it is important to do it the right way. You don’t want to be curt or offensive. You need to let people know that it isn’t personal. You might want to say something such as “I can’t take this on now. I have too much on my plate that I need to focus on. But I’m sure in the near future we’ll be able to work together.” This can help you to keep relationships with your co-workers and friends. You can say no without damaging those relationships.

Saying no can be difficult. No one is arguing that. But it is an important skill to learn. By learning to say no, you can protect your productivity. You can protect your mental health. And you can protect your energy and well-being. That is what is what is really at stake. Saying yes just isn’t something you can do every time, in every situation. Learning to say no isn’t selfish. In fact, being selective with your “Yes” answers will allow you to give more when you do agree.