For many people, the word "no" is an impossible one to use.
We want to make other people happy, so it can be difficult to say no to family and friends. It's also hard to say no to a career opportunity or to a co-worker that wants your help.
But sometimes in life, it's necessary to put your foot down.
Learning to be a little bit selfish can be a good thing, and it can help boost you in ways you never thought possible.
See how these 5 benefits to learning how to say no can improve your productivity and quality of life.
1. You'll Have More Time to Tackle Top Priorities
Work is hectic and family life is stressful.
It doesn't matter who you are or what you do—finishing everything on your to-do list can seem like an impossible task. But if you learn how to say "no" to extra tasks and burdens, you can focus on the ones you've already got on your plate.
Saying yes to every request that comes your way is a surefire way to bog yourself down and increase stress. Of course, we’d all love to say yes to everything but in reality, it might put unneeded strain on you.
Say yes to the most important or exciting events and opportunities. RSVP yes to the big events like family and friend weddings and birthday parties. But learn how to say no to random happy hour invites if you feel like you need to.
Seize the opportunity and take on projects that will help your career. But don't take on extra tasks because a co-worker wants a few more hands on deck.
Once you start saying no, you'll see how much time you actually have to do the things you need to do.
2. You'll be Less Stressed
It's not rude to say no. Many people think that turning down an invitation or opportunity is a bad thing. But that's simply not true.
Declining an invitation says you already have enough to do and can't afford to make any new commitments.
If you're planning to decline an invitation, make sure you say no from the beginning.
If you’re unsure about whether you can commit to something, make that very clear from the get-go. If you're straightforward and honest from the start, you have nothing to worry about.
3. You'll Have More Time for Yourself
Is there anyone out there who doesn't wish they had more free time? Probably not. The fact is, free time is waiting for you.
But you have to set boundaries and know how to make yourself a priority in your own life.
Saying no keeps your schedule and task load manageable. When you have the time to do the things you have to do, you'll have more time to do the things you want to do. By not committing to everything that comes your way, you'll free up time that you can spend in whatever way you like.
Being a little bit selfish with your free time is not a bad thing. It's essential if you're looking to maintain stability and sanity in all areas of your life.
4. Your Quality of Work Will Increase
You're already busy with work, family, and friends, and there never seems to be enough time to do everything.
If you want to produce the highest quality of work you can produce, you must make time to complete the project, which can mean saying no to things that will prevent you from doing so.
Your time is valuable and protecting it will help ensure you’re being as productive as possible. Spend your time and energy accomplishing tasks that are already on your plate. That way, when things arise that you can't refuse, you'll have more time to handle them.
Dedicate time to the things that really matter, and you're certain to see a positive shift.
5. You'll Find Better Opportunities
Identifying what’s important to you will help guide your decision making.
Once you know what's important to you, it will be easier to say no to the things that don't matter to you as much. By saying no to the wrong opportunities, you're making room to say yes to the right opportunities.
You've got to learn how to leave a little free time in your schedule. If your boss presents you with a project that might spur upward mobility, you’ll want to accept.
If that potential date finally asks you out for dinner, you'll want to say yes. Carving out free time is essential to not only your happiness but your ability to say yes to the right things.
Even a small opportunity can lead to a big and positive change in your life. The only way to be truly happy is to leave room to jump on those once-in-a-lifetime chances.
If you learn to turn down what's not right for you, you'll always have time to say yes to what's right.
If you like to please everyone, saying no can be a difficult thing to do. Say no when you mean it, and don't second-guess yourself or feel a bit of guilt about it.
There is power in saying no in the sense that you remain in control of your time.
Say no if you want more time to tackle what's already on your to-do list. You'll be less stressed, you'll have more time to do the things you want (and need) to do, and your quality of work will increase.
You don’t have to commit to every invitation and opportunity that comes your way.
This blog was written by Caitlin Sinclair and may not be copied or published without permission.
Caitlin Sinclair currently works as the marketing manager at Jefferson Chandler, a luxury apartment complex located in Chandler, Arizona. Caitlin loves traveling, meeting new people and trying new cuisines, having lived all over the world such as Hong Kong, Cyprus and of course, London. In her free time, she is rarely without her 2-year-old boxer dog, Aurora!