Spend More Time Writing - Three Tips to Help You Say No to Things You Don't Want to Do!

How to Get Better at Saying No

I learned a valuable lesson today. Well, actually, I’ve learned this lesson many times before but I needed a reminder in a big way. Saying “NO” is necessary! You don’t have to yell it like I just did but you can say “no” anytime you feel like it and you certainly shouldn’t feel bad about it. If you don’t set boundaries for yourself, I don’t know who will.

I’m a sucker for a sob story and my friends know this about me! Last week my friend asked me to help her out today. She said she didn’t have anyone else to help and that she didn’t know what she was going to do. After checking with my husband to see if he could watch the kids I offered to help. I’m really not sure why. I didn’t want to.

Today I realized that I asked my husband to watch the kids so I could go help a friend when I could have spent the four hours I spent with my friend working on my novel. Do you know how much I can get done in four hours!!! FOUR HOURS!!!! This is huge. I realized that I’m not comfortable asking my husband to watch the kids so I can get more work done but because I’m doing a favour for someone that makes it ok. Where is the logic here? Helping out my friend doesn’t contribute to my family life or income but working on my novel sure would.

Not only did I spend four hours doing something I didn’t want to do and could easily have avoided simply by saying “no”, but I continued to obsess over this wasted time when I got home. Then I realized I was letting this take up way too much space in my head so I decided to let it go and get productive. I did manage to get quite a lot of housework done in the hour I had to myself before my family got home. I even put on an audio book while cleaning so I feel like I still accomplished quite a bit.

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The next time someone asks me to do something I don’t want to do, I’m going to consider this:

1) Is this the best use of my time right now? This is a trick I learned while studying for my accounting designation. When trying to stay focused on a task, you can ask yourself this question and it really helps you focus on what you should be doing. Had I asked myself this question last week, I would have said, “no, this is not the best use of my time right now”.

2) Saying “no” is NOT a bad thing and if someone judges me for that then maybe they aren’t the right friend for me.  I don’t even have to have a reason to say “no”. I can say no simply because that’s what I want to do.

3) I AM IMPORTANT!!! I have very limited time to work on my business because I enjoy spending as much time with my family as possible. My goals are important enough that I can say “no” to something simply because I want to stay home and work on myself!!

Do you have trouble saying “no”? What has helped you say “no” more often? Tell me in the comments.