The Number One Time Management Tool

In his book, Get Everything Done and Still Have Time to Play, Mark Forster says, “Learning to say no to low-value activities is essential….Remember that at the moment you are already filling every day with twenty-four hour’ worth of activities. If you are going to introduce another activity, then something you are already doing has to go.”

Remember the saying, “If you want something done, ask someone’s who’s busy”? The more successful you get, the more people are going to ask for your expertise and help. So learning to say “no” becomes an essential tool in your life tool box.

Have you ever said yes, and then regretted it? This is often how we end up with too much to do. Practice saying “no” to everything for the next week, to get out of the habit of saying yes automatically.

The keys are to stay neutral with your tone of voice – don’t be defensive or annoyed. Have you noticed that often the people asking you just don’t seem to hear your “no”? Expect to have to say no several times. If you feel you need to give any reason at all, make it a general one that can’t be argued with, like “I’m spending more time with my family.” or “I can’t fit that into my priorities right now, but thanks for asking.”

© 2014 Anne Alexander, all rights reserved in all media

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