In a world that is increasingly full of distractions and opportunities, saying NO, is difficult, and for some it's downright painful. We aren't taught to say NO and no one I know likes hearing it, but it's a necessary evil to drive us to our best.
As my roles have evolved as a wife, mother and leader, I'm becoming very comfortable with NO - saying and hearing it. I actively seek to create an environment at work where others feel comfortable also saying NO!
WHAT "NO" HAS DONE FOR ME
1. No gives you focus. We all have to-do lists. I have not-to-do lists, especially at work. Saying YES to everything dilutes you as a human being, spouse, parent, leader, and friend. It's a classic recipe for disaster. Saying NO allows you to focus on the most important contribution you can make and gives you the best opportunity play to your strengths.
2. No enables balance. There's nothing more freeing to have a calendar with open space. Saying NO gives you time to do things for yourself, even if that means doing NOthing!
3. No helps you open doors to others. I've made my entire life about knowing people, their passions and what makes them truly unique. This affords me to 'outsource' opportunities, as they are presented to me, to those better suited to say YES. Knowing people enables things to get done.
YES OR NO: I JUST DON'T KNOW
Trying to evaluate? Here are a 3 questions I use to guide my thinking.
1. Is the opportunity aligned with my long term needs and goals?
2. What will I gain from giving this time away?
3. What's the worst thing that could happen if I did say yes?
Practice makes perfect. Make a conscious choice and employ NO as a part of your life strategy.