What would you do instead?
How often do you say "yes" to tasks when you'd really like to say "no"?
It's a challenge that many of us face, we say "yes" for all sorts of reasons: not wishing to offend, Feeling like we can't say no, not knowing how to.... and it comes into both our personal and our professional lives. Do you find yourself saying yes to social events, and then wishing you hadn't? Offering to help people with something, when you know you don't really have the time?
One of the things that we have found really helpful links to a tip from Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Covey says that you need to know what your "Big Yes" is - what's the driving force for you? What is the most important thing for you to spend your time on, to achieve? Knowing your big yes, gives you the freedom to say no to those things that take you away from it.
We have found that you can employ this same principle on a smaller scale too, by asking yourself "what could I be doing instead?". What would I like to be doing, or what needs attending to instead of what I'm being asked right now? Keeping these things in focus does make it easier to say no, as you're saying no with purpose, not an excuse, but a good reason for needing to say no.
We're not advocating saying no for the sake of it, or being deliberately unhelpful, but in those moments when you feel you're edging towards a reluctant "yes", just ask yourself, "what could I be doing instead."
Listen to our Brilliant Bosses Podcast: I'm a people leader, how the heck can I find time to get stuff done? here: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/peopletopia/episodes/Im-a-people-manager--how-the-heck-can-I-get-stuff-done-e22j2l0/a-a9mi35n