say_noYou make a commitment…then you make another…and another…and another. It’s a never-ending cycle. Each time you commit, you hear a little voice in the back of your mind, but you ignore it. You over-commit to your job, clients, friends, family, school, etc. These seemingly harmless commitments can add hundreds of hours and stress to an already over-scheduled life.

One of the most important things to remember is that time is finite. No matter how hard you try, you’ll never have enough time to do everything. If you really think about that last statement it can change your life. Once you truly accept that you can’t do it all, you can begin to prioritize your time. Doing this gives more opportunities to do the things that you really want to do, rather than the things that you feel you should do. Spending quality time with family and friends, achieving goals in your business, and just having some down time for yourself are prime examples.

There are many, many benefits to stop over-committing in your life and here are some of the most important.

Reduce Stress

In many instances, simply saying no goes a long way when it comes to reducing stress. Have you ever agreed to do something, only to feel the stress and pressure of actually getting it done? If so, you’re definitely not alone. It happens to everyone. No one is immune to the pressure of saying no.

Adding undue stress to your life is unhealthy. It can make you feel physically ill and can often cause strain between you and the person you’re trying to help.

Learning to say no is actually one of the easiest ways to reduce stress. It doesn’t cost anything. The only requirement is changing the way you look at things.

Save Time

As much as we hate to admit it, there are only so many hours in a day. Even the richest person in the world can’t buy more time. The good news is, even though your hours are limited, you’re in complete control of how you use them. Don’t let other people dictate how you spend your time by expecting you to help them whenever they see fit. If they really appreciate you, they’ll understand why you can’t always help at the drop of a hat. You need to make it clear that you have your own set of priorities and responsibilities.

Gain Strength & Energy

When you take the time to think about it, each time you say “no” to someone else, you’re actually saying “yes” to yourself. Chances are you’ll soon notice a boost in your self-confidence level. In addition, 9 times out of 10, you’ll gain the respect of the person who asked for your help. He or she may initially be unhappy with your answer, but your true friends, family and clients typically won’t hold a grudge.

Assisting with projects that you really don’t have time for, or have little interest in doing, is a huge energy waster too. It’s much more productive to put that same energy into something that interests you. You’ll feel better, you’ll be much happier, and will be more productive in the long run.

Why Saying No Can Help You Achieve Your Goals

Saying “no” can help people get ahead…plain and simple. It frees up time, which allows them to concentrate on themselves. Without having to worry about everyone else, it’s much easier for you to plan for your future. There’s no better time to work on the task of comfortably saying no.

Saying “no” helps you to stay true to yourself and stick to your goals. It also reduces distractions, which sometimes cause you to get behind on the most important things in your life. For many people, learning to say “no” with conviction lessens any feeling of guilt they once felt when turning down a request.

When you learn to say “no,” you set boundaries for yourself and the people around you. Setting clear boundaries means that you’ll typically be presented with less intrusions and distractions, because others will know when they’re stepping over the line.

Some people will still try to take advantage of your helpful nature. However, by taking the time to set firm boundaries, you’ll eliminate some of the problem.

You can’t always be “there” for everyone. It’s physically impossible. You’d need more than 24 hours in the day to do everything that people want you to do. Create boundaries to help you save time when trying to decide whether you should volunteer to help. These help you to set limits ahead of time and make the decision-making process easier.


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  1. […] as a virtual assistant.  By saying no, I could focus on the projects I loved to do and be able to produce a finished product that I could be proud of.  One summer, a friend and I were talking about her position as a member […]

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