It’s OK to Say NO

Time Face

Time is our most valuable resource, so it’s important that, just as we manage our finances, we know how to most effectively manage our time. We all have goals, and often we need to invest time (like we invest money) to achieve them. However, it’s important to recognize which activities are worthy of your time, and which are going to be drains on your day and/or your attitude. I understand that this may upset some people, but it’s ok to say “no” to people or activities that aren’t going to benefit your own interests.

Sometimes committing yourself to a conversation or activity that isn’t worthwhile to you can make you feel stuck since you’re not gaining anything from the interaction. Also- people can often tell when you’re not interested in being there. Even though you think you’re doing someone a service by taking the meeting, attending the event, or spending time doing something that you’re not interested in, your presence may come off rushed and ambivalent.

Additionally, that time could be better spent on things that will move you forward rather than being wasted on unproductive activities. Putting yourself in a position that isn’t worthwhile to you is only going to waste time, potentially cause resentment, and negatively affect the rest of your day. You have enough things in your life that cause anxiety, stress, discomfort, and displeasure, so why add more negativity by doing something you don’t want to do?

If it makes you feel good to say “yes”, then say “yes”, but it’s also okay to say “no”. Obviously it’s important to be a kind, helpful person, but you will become even more helpful and influential once you have focused on investing your time on growing toward your goals. Consider the old airplane safety adage: secure the oxygen mask on yourself first, then help others with their masks. Don’t feel selfish by turning down extra work that doesn’t directly help you along your path, because by designating that time to helping your own cause you can work toward being in a better position to make a larger impact down the road.

Understanding that your time is valuable, it’s okay to (nicely) say “no” to things that you don’t identify as a benefit to you or your ventures. This is something that can be difficult to do, and I certainly struggle with this on occasion because I want to be polite and helpful. The added stress, energy, sometimes gas expenses, and time lost is just not worth it. Learn to say no, and feel confident doing so.

To see more posts from Breanna Bremer, please view her article library here.

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