Are you a yes person? Do you often seem unable to say ‘No’? As a result, do you put other people’s priorities ahead of your own? If we always say ‘yes’, we put all our efforts into doing things for others. End up drowning in other’s work we’ve committed to do. However, when it comes to our own tasks, we’ve run out of time, or worse, we’re stressed and exhausted
How Do We End Up Doing Everything for Others?
As we’re all part of the same team, we need to help each other out. Moreover, It’s hard to say ‘no’ when it’s our boss. Even harder when it’s a client. However, saying ‘yes’ to everything is part of the problem. For instance, we’re not causing others to examine why they can’t get it done themselves. Maybe we end up doing the same, push our work on to others. As a result, the cycle keeps going. Keeps getting worse
Why We Can’t Say No
Not being able to say ‘no’ destroys our time management, our productivity, our creativity. There’re many reasons why we find it hard to say ‘no’. Lack of confidence. In the same vein, not knowing how to assert ourselves effectively. A short-term approach; it’s easier to say ‘yes’ now and get it done than spend time negotiating. Or simple, plain, old, habit
What To Do About it
The obvious, throw-away, remark is: learn how to say ‘no’. That can often be a lot be easier said than done. Therefore, here are some easier steps we can take to make sure we concentrate on what we should be doing. And what’s important to us:
- Identify if saying ‘yes’ is a habit. That’s to say, a default behaviour you don’t ordinarily notice. Start a journal and spend time to reflect on your day. When did you say ‘yes’ to a new piece of work? Why did you say ‘yes’? Just being aware of a habit can be enough to break the habit
- Are there a few culprits who are the worst for throwing work at you? Ask someone to keep an eye out for when a time draining colleague has you snared. You’ll get a call or message that you’ve ‘just got to take’. Certainly, this tactic has got people out of bad first dates for decades!
- Know what’s important to you, professionally, creatively, personally (Click the ‘Follow’ button to ensure the ‘Goal Setting’ post comes straight to you). As a result of just knowing this helps with the final step. Being assertive
- The occasional ‘no’ can do wonders for your workload as it makes others stop and think. It’s easy to assume that someone is saying ‘yes’ because they’re able help. And not because they don’t like to say ‘no’. Certainly, it may as a surprise when you do occasionally say ‘no’. Therefore, avoid confrontation. Buy yourself time if things become fraught. For instance, use phrases like ‘Can I get back to you?’ Finally, appeal to their good nature when saying ‘no’; ‘I’m snowed under with x,y and z, is there someone else you can ask?’
A Gradual Ascent to Time Management Nirvana
To sum up, being a yes person will lead us to let others down. Saying ‘no’ is a skill that takes time grow. Take small, measured steps to start with. As you practice, your skills will grow. And so will your confidence. Before you know it, the yes person will be gone. And you’ll be back to delivering what really matters!
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