Saying ‘No’

July 27, 2011 — Leave a comment



Sometimes I come across a quote, a phrase or a statement that stops me in my tracks. It’s not always because it contains 100% truth or is profound in some way. In fact, at times, a statement that contains more falsehood than truth can stop me in my tracks! What makes these statements special for me is that they cause me to press ‘pause’ and ponder their content.

One such statement is:

“You spend every minute of your day doing things you said ‘yes’ to.”

This statement is one that, sometimes, I think contains 100% truth and at other times, 50% truth at the most! However, the sentence does cause me to press that pause button and gives me time to think about choices, decisions, time and, yes, whether I should say ‘no’ more often.

I know that more often than not, when I’m over-worked, lacking margin, feeling pressure or unable to meet a deadline, it’s because I’ve defaulted to saying ‘Yes’ when I should have said ‘No’.

Reading an article titled 8 Essential Strategies to Saying ‘No’, I was struck by strategy Number 3 – Value Your Time. Time – I only have a finite amount of it – is probably my most valuable asset.  So why do I mismanage it by avoiding saying ‘No’ to what will rob me of its best use?

There are six key types of time which we all need:

• Creative and productive
• Physically energetic and active
• Playful and entertaining
• Learning and developing
• Reflective and spiritual
• Restful and relaxing

Which type am I missing out most on? And more to the point, would saying ‘No’ more often make a difference?

According to Warren Buffett –

“The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say “no” to almost everything.”


Wyn Jones


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