As we head into the Fall season, we often find increased requests for our time: volunteer needs, charity fundraisers and projects, and holiday events all compete for this precious commodity, emphasizing the need for good organizing and time management in NYC more than ever. And though these requests are often for worthwhile endeavors, we simply can’t do everything, particularly on top of our commitments to family, jobs and – this is important – ourselves. Becoming comfortable with saying “No” is a key time management technique, so I’m sharing with you today several ways to gracefully decline requests that you cannot – or do not want – to take on:
- I can’t commit to this right now/I’m in the middle of several projects. Let people know that your plate is full with other responsibilities. Better to say no than to agree to take on more than you can do well.
- I’m not the best person to help with this/I’m not the most qualified person for the job. It may be flattering to be asked to take on a high-profile role or a vital task, but if it’s truly outside of your comfort zone, a disproportionate amount of time will need to be devoted to it and you may end up feeling anxious or overwhelmed. This is not a good state when you need to maximize your organizing and time management skills in your NYC office.
- I need to focus on my career right now. Volunteer activities and board memberships fill important needs in the community and can bring great personal satisfaction. But it’s OK to be honest when your attention needs to be on the job that provides your income.
- I need to focus on my personal/family life. Sometimes we get so busy being busy that we don’t make time to relax with family, exercise, enjoy dinner with friends. Be sure that there’s time for YOU in your calendar.
- No. Sometimes it’s best to just be direct. A simple “no,” conveyed with courtesy and respect is a perfectly acceptable response. This will allow you to stay in control of your busy NYC life and allows you to focus your organizing and time management skills on your priority tasks.