Saying NO Is Good Skill To Have
March 23, 2021
A colleague and I were in a business planning discussion, and we got discussing a common challenge many of us encounter. We are constantly overloaded with priorities, and most days, it feels as if 13-14 hours are not enough to complete all key tasks. Both of us concluded that being able to say “NO” to any task or activity is a very critical skill.
Mediocre tasks are easy to say NO to. It is the more value-creating tasks that become a headache. Everything appears valuable, and saying NO is always is tough.
From experience, I have learned one important lesson. The difference between average and exceptional results comes from our ability to say NO even when we have the power to say yes.
The Hidden Cost Of Yes
We may think we intellectually understand the cost of doing something. Unfortunately, the process is ambiguous at best. Saying YES to a meeting request might feel innocuous, but coming out of the meeting can be many “to-do” tasks that insidiously leak your focus and energy. These tasks keep us busy but don’t take us any nearer to our goals.
Once we say yes to anything of significance, it will logically demand more and more time and focus , flowing into days, weeks, and months until there is a logical conclusion.
Saying YES consumes our time while saying NO creates time- to think, create, and plan.
If time were like money in a bank account, most of us would operate on an overdraft mode. Saying YES is like drawing down on an already overdrawn account. Consciously evaluate whether it is worth saying YES to something.