Be Exceptional At Saying No.

September 8, 2022

We read a great quote recently, it went something a little like this…

“To be truly exceptional at something, you have to be exceptional at saying no.”

We often feel like we have to say “yes” to everything. No more so than at work, where we fear that saying “no” might give us a bad reputation.

But saying “yes” to everything means we spend less time on the aspects of work that we enjoy. 3-6 months later we think about leaving the company because: “this isn’t the role that I signed up for.”

How can you become expectational at saying no, maintain a good reputation, and make sure that you keep enjoying the work that you do?

We’ve created a simple decision matrix to help you do just that. 🙌

1️⃣ Is it part of my job description? (yes/no)

If “yes” then do the task. If “no” then ask question 2.

2️⃣ Is it something that I want to do? (yes/no)

Reasons for saying “yes”:

🧠 Learn something new

📈 Develop professionally

🤝 Support a colleague

If “yes” then ask question 3. If “no” then do not take on the task.

3️⃣ Do I have the time? (yes/no)

If “yes” then do the task. If “no” then do not take on the task.

It’s that simple. Just 3 questions. Every time you’re faced with a new task, project or responsibility, ask yourself these questions. You’ll be exceptional at saying “no” in.. no time…Excuse the pun. 🙈

p.s. If you think about it, this decision matrix also helps you become exceptional at saying “yes”. 👍

This beating burnout top tips was inspired by the book "Atomic Habits" by James Clear.

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