The secret to effective time management isn’t some complicated system or magical time machine. It’s much simpler than you may think, yet much harder for many individuals to execute. The key to managing your time: don’t be afraid to say no!
Our NYC Professional Organizer understands, from firsthand experience, that the urge to commit to tasks, meetings and events that don’t fit into our schedules is strong for two reasons:
- Often these are attractive opportunities, things that we would like to do if we had more time for them.
- We don’t want to disappoint the people.
Still, the second reason tends to be the most prevalent cause for crammed schedules. Saying no isn’t personal and it doesn’t have to mean disappointing anyone. There are some endeavors that you simply can’t fit into your schedule without spreading yourself too thin. Here are five ways our NYC Professional Organizer has found you can gracefully decline invitations and requests.
- Unfortunately, I’m in the middle of several projects right now. This allows people to see that your plate is full right now. Not only will they understand that you have prior responsibilities, it will let them know that you don’t want to commit to their project at a time when you can’t perform to the best of your ability.
- I’m not the most qualified person for this particular project. Sometimes we are asked to take on tasks that are outside of our comfort zones or expertise. In this case, there is no shame in expressing your concerns. After all, should they find someone who is a better fit for the project, not only will it save you from feeling overwhelmed, it will likely be accomplished in less time. A win-win.
- Right now, I need to focus on my career. When you have a big project at work, there is nothing wrong with turning down volunteer opportunities and board memberships. Yes, these activities do help the community and can lead to personal satisfaction, but other opportunities will come along down the line when you are not as busy at the office.
- I am focusing on my personal/family life right now. You should set aside time for YOU in your schedule. Don’t be afraid to turn down other requests in order to spend time with your family, entertain friends, or even just to get that work out in. When you make yourself a priority, you can better perform all of the other tasks in your life.
- Simply No. In some situations, a direct no is the best response when given with both courtesy and respect.
In most cases, you control your schedule. Our NYC Professional Organizer points out that managing your time effectively is much easier when you’re not overbooked! Saying no lets you limit the number of additional tasks you add to your to do list, maintain your productivity, and reduce the stress that comes with taking on more than you have time to handle.