You Can’t Say ‘Yes’ to Everything

Dec 11, 2017

It is fundamentally impossible for one person to “do it all.” At some point, you are going to need to learn how to say “no” when your bosses or co-workers want to dump more work into your lap. Saying “yes” to everything often leads to chronic stress, which in turn can lead to health problems, a poor attitude, and strained relationships, ultimately hurting everyone.

Here are a few leadership development tips to think about.

Communicate Up Front

If someone asks you to take on a task that you believe is more than you can handle, communicate your concern. Take a stand if need be. Maybe there is a way to find a middle ground, tell them up front what you can do to contribute to the project, without taking on the entire thing. In a way, you’re standing up for yourself while still trying to help.

Set Your Boundaries

You might want to make everyone happy and hope that your co-workers see you as a team player. This is particularly true if you have a new job and haven’t gained a solid footing yet. You might also be afraid of confrontations, or you aren’t sure of what will happen if you turn down a project, but everyone needs boundaries.

Know Your Limitations

There is nothing wrong with saying “no.” You’re allowed to do it. Every person has a limited amount of time and energy that they should use wisely. Taking on too many things results in negative consequences. Know what you’re capable of, how much time you have, and stay within those limits.

There are times in your life when you need to just say “no.” Use these three leadership development tips to help balance out your time and priorities.

This article originally appeared at