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6 Ways to Say No and Protect Your Already Too Busy Schedule

September 14, 2012 in Life

As you get settled into your busy school routine, you may feel the pull to add more things to your already full plate….joining the parent association, chairing the fundraiser, adding soccer to John’s extracurricular activities (when he already participates in basketball and baseball) and this would require more carpooling, etc!

And, I know…sometimes we have a hard time saying “No”, especially if the things that people are asking of you are all things that you truly have an interest in doing. Unfortunately, not saying, “No”,  can come at your own expense. You lose the time to do the things you really want (or need) to do and you can even feel resentful towards the other person and yourself.

Get Your Balance Score to find out what areas of your life you should be focusing on.

Saying, “No”,  doesn’t have to be difficult.  If you struggle with this concept of saying, “No”, it does require some practice.  So, here are some ideas you can begin to use immediately.

  1. Explain that your other commitments are taking up all your time right now. Everyone is too busy at times; the other person will understand that you have a heavy load of other responsibilities. It might help to go into a little detail about the other things you have going on; it will increase their level of understanding.
  2. Say that you’re in the middle of something and that you’ll get back to them. It’s not uncommon to get hit with requests for immediate help. You can let them know that you can’t help right now but that you might be able to help soon. If it really is urgent, they’ll find someone else and shouldn’t feel resentful towards you.
  3. Tell them that you’ll think about it. This is more of a “maybe” than an absolute “no.” Avoid using this option if you really do want to say “no.” Take the time you need to consider it and remember to get back to them. You can suggest your own deadline or an alternative that works for better for you if you can’t comply fully with their first request.
  4. If someone is trying to sell something to you, tell them that their offering doesn’t meet your needs but you’ll get back to them if your needs change. This puts an end to the matter quickly without the other person feeling insulted. After all, you’re rejecting their product or service; you’re not rejecting them personally.
  5. Refer them to someone who would be a better help. In this case, you’re not refusing to help them. In fact, you are helping them by suggesting someone more capable of satisfying their needs.
  6. Tell them that you’d like to help, but…. This lets the other party know that you would like their offer or would like to provide assistance to them, but you that you are either too busy or their offer doesn’t meet your needs. It’s similar to #1 and #4, but is more supportive and encouraging.

If you’ll learn to say “no” to the things that you really don’t want to do, don’t have the time to do, or don’t fit your needs, you will be able to say “YES” to more of the things that are important to you!  Now, go practice saying…”No”!

If you are beginning to feel a bit overwhelmed, sign up to receive the “Balancing Act Ezine”  and receive tips on living a balanced life!

Be Balanced and Blessed!

Deona, Your Balance Partner


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