Just say “No”.

by Stuart on 27 October 2010

We're all short of time.

Despite all the gadgets that are supposed to save us time there never seems to be enough of it to do what we want to do.

Here's a simple and revolutionary thought – why not say no to some things?

How many times in the last year/month/day have you heard yourself agreeing to do something that you know deep down that you will never have time to do? And what's the result? This task will sit on your to-do list and in your guilt box and distract you from, well, everything. When you sit down to do another task this one will pop into your head and nag you. It won't be forgotten. And you'll do your original task in a hurry or feeling distracted and probably won't do it justice. The end result of all this is that you do most of the things you said you'd do, perhaps not to the best quality, and you'll leave some things undone, and feel guitly about them.

So the answer is to say no. You can be polite about it, but still say no. "I'm sorry, I'd really love to do ..xxx.., but I really can't fit it in right now." The person asking would far rather you came clean at once, so she can find another way of getting her task done, rather than have you either not deliver at all, or perhaps worse, deliver a half-hearted attempt right on the deadline. You might still feel guilty about refusing a request but that's more easily dealt with.

And now you have time to give your full attention to your other tasks. "Better no job at all than a half-hearted attempt"

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