Learn how to say no at work

The word no is often associated with negativity, but sometimes saying yes to everything in work can lead to more problems than a simple no

The hardest thing about saying no tends to be the fear of letting someone down. It’simportant to know when and how to say no before you become overwhelmed with all the work you should have declined or pushed back to a later date

Think it Through

Nobody needs an answer straight away, so when your boss or colleague asks you to help them with a new project take your time and think about it. Tell the person you will check your schedule and get back to them.

Saying No

There are several ways to say no, and many of these ways can be positive. Firstly, call up to the person’s desk, email tones can be easily misconstrued or picked up incorrectly. Instead of being passive-aggressive stating how much work you already have on, perhaps start by thanking your manager for thinking of you for this project. Then share your current schedule, and your current priorities, explaining how it’s imperative you get X projects done and correctly

Ask for help Prioritising

Ask for help prioritising your schedule and if your boss thinks you can push back on the timeline of another project then you can work together to do so

Offer an Alternative

If all else fails and you can’t find the time to take on more work, help your colleague or boss find a solution. Saying no can be made that bit easier when you offer an alternative, perhaps you could ask some of your fellow colleagues if they are free to help. Otherwise, share your schedule with your boss and highlight a date in the future where you have the time to start the project

The truth is everyone ends up saying yes more often than not, as we don’t want to be seen as incapable or that you are not a team player. It’s important to remember that saying no from time to time will make you a more productive, efficient and healthy worker in the long run.