Thanks for visiting my blog. Hope you find some helpful hints for organizing your time and space. My passions are to help you make home a refuge instead of a crisis center, and to help you function in peace rather than chaos - at home or at work. I have switched my main blog to 1-2-3 ... Get Organized on WordPress, so please visit me there.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Reduce Your Stress - Say No

Happy Monday! Hope you had a nice weekend! We concluded a lovely visit with my friend Margaret, worked on taxes (yipee!) while watching two different versions of Pride and Prejudice (not at the same time!), had one of our former Shelter Care girls over for dinner (she's in college now), and relaxed a bit.

I'm also discovering how clutzy I am! I hurt my back on Thursday (don't know how!) and can't pick things off the floor. So I've become aware of how many things I drop and have to leave on the floor for my husband to pick up! Looks like the chiropractor is in my future.

So, on to our blog ...

Reduce Your Stress - Say No

Why is it so hard to say no? Maybe it's because we don't want to disappoint, or maybe it's because we feel empowered when we rescue others. We may not know our own skill sets well enough to know if we are equipped to meet the need. Or maybe it's because we don't have a clear picture of our own priorities against which to measure others' requests.

Whatever the case, saying no can be difficult! If you have trouble saying no, you may find yourself over-committed, doing things you are not passionate about, feeling used, ill-equipped to do the job, or seeing your own priorities take a back seat to those of others.

How do you learn to say no?

1. The first step is to know your own priorities - at work and at home.

If you are asked to take on an assignment at work and you are already overloaded, you can say something like this: "These are my current top priorities. Where do you see this fitting in, in light of them?" Then your boss sees your current workload and must decide if the new assignment is more important than those on which you are working. He/she also gets a sense that you have clear priorities, yet are available for clarifying input. If need be, draw up a time line of when your current projects will be completed, to give context to expectations.

If someone asks you to take on the PTA bake sale, or even just donate a batch of brownies, ask for some time to think about it. If you have trouble saying no, this should become your mantra, "Let me look at my schedule and get back to you." This gives you a chance to think calmly about whether this is something to which you want to commit your time and efforts.

2. Ask yourself if you are the best person to do the job.

If you are well-equipped to do the job, ask yourself if it is something that fits with your priorities and time availability. If you are not well-equipped to do the job, suggest someone else who might have the needed skills. If the job is something you'd like to learn, ask to be mentored by someone who could teach you to do it.

I was asked to be the church treasurer for our little church. I immediately said no. I don't know how much time it would have taken, but I don't have much of that. Nor am I well-equipped to do the job. There is a reason I switched from accounting to business finance in college! Plus I hate tedious jobs like that, and I think I would have dreaded doing the job.

By knowing yourself well, you can choose to operate in the areas of your strength, which is energizing and satisfying. Operating in areas of weakness is draining and high-risk.

3. Ask yourself why you want to say yes.

Are you committed to the project or cause?
Does it fit with your priorities?
Do you have the time to do it?
Do you want to look good in the requester's eyes?
Do you feel you can't say no to a boss, client, co-worker, friend, etc?
Are you attracted by the power it would give you?
Are you only thinking about how good it would look on your resume?
Do you have a realistic picture of your skills?
Do you want to have the feeling of rescuing the person/project?
Do you have a realistic picture of the time the project will take?
Are you feeling intimidated by the person asking?

Evaluate your answers to the above questions to gain insight into your own motivations.

4. Make your decision based on your priorities, time availability, skills, passions, and motivations. Becoming over-committed at work or at home not only affects you, but those closest to you.

If you are stressed because you can't say no, you are losing opportunities to say yes to the things that are important to you!

5. If you are unsure of your gifts, priorities, and passions, start studying yourself. Enjoy your unique design and shine in areas you love! If you need some help getting started, see the resources below.

What helps you say no? If you'd like to comment and receive this by email, use this link.

Similar blogs:

Why Throw Shallow New Years' Resolutions at Yourself When You Really Need to Rethink Life?

Getting Organized for School (and life!) - Determining The Legacy You Want to Leave Your Children

To Do List or Not To Do List - That is the Question!

- Any of the 1-2-3...Get Organized time management books will help you determine your priorities, passions, and gifts. Available in books, ebooks, workbooks, and eworkbooks.

- If you prefer one-on-one interaction, a Rethinking Life coaching session may be of interest to you.

- Myers-Briggs Personality Type Inventory. Discover your own distinctive design - understand and appreciate yourself and others in a new way! Comment below if you'd like more info.