Why You Don’t Have to Say Yes All the Time
“Just say yes” is an advice for a “No” person, but if you say yes all the time, you probably need to tone down the Yes’s.
Saying no to a lot of things could mean missing out on opportunities, but the same goes with being too agreeable. Putting the needs of others over yours is counterproductive. Whatever your motivation, too much compliance to every little request leaves you at the losing end. As such, there is value in saying no. Face it, you can’t accommodate everything. Here’s a rundown of reasons why you don’t have to say yes all the time
Saying no reveals self-worth
Sometimes, you say no for the sake of avoiding conflict. What’s not being said is that by yes and agreeing to the other party, you end up undermining your own value. In fact, you agree to the opinion of others over your own point-of-view. Saying no gives you the chance to assert yourself. You deem certain requests or favours as worthy of your time or effort. This is essential to revealing how much importance you place on your judgments. It shows control and decisiveness—both admirable traits of successful people.
Productivity is subjective. You feel productive when you have accomplished stuff that you care about. Things that you think are important. However, if you say yes all the time, you probably end up side-tracking priorities and passion projects. Little favours and tiny tasks can end up eating up hours of your time, leaving no room for actual work to be done. According to business magnate Warren Buffet, “The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say ‘no’ to almost everything.” It’s true, accommodating non-essential undertakings takes you away from your goals, all for the sake of pleasing others.
Allow others to grow
Saying yes all the time makes you a follower. Saying no makes you a leader.
Saying yes tends to take away work from other people. Sure it frees up their time, but it also takes away the opportunity for them to learn. Saying no means you move away from people pleasing to leading. This is why leaders are encouraged to delegate. Delegation allows your colleagues and employees to grow. Even in your personal life, saying yes can cause your family and friends to become dependent on your good will. Something as simple as arranging for a flower delivery takes up mental real estate and distracts you from the task at hand. If you have time to spare, by all means say yes. Just don’t make a habit of bailing out people from simple, doable duties.
Save some room for yourself
Achieving work-life balance may be a myth. However, it’s possible that is a myth because you say yes to so many things. Once you understand that there are limited hours in a day, you begin to appreciate the value of time management. More than making time for yourself, you need to save room for the people who matter. Your career won’t keep you warm at night, it will, however, make you vulnerable to all sorts of ailments due to the stress of keeping up with your workload. So find time to recharge, exercise, meditate, and just relax.
Say no so you can say yes
The bottom line for saying no is really so that you can say yes. According to Zen Habits, “We have to clear up some space by saying No to things we’d like to do, but that are taking up space in our lives — space that could be used by something we really, really want to do.” Again, it’s all a matter of setting priorities. If you fill up your calendar with little favours, tasks, and requests, when something big comes up, it becomes harder to squeeze it into your full calendar. Busy is overrated. Sometimes, inspiration and big ideas come from silence, space, and—ironically—boredom.