Should’ve Said No

So what do you do when you end up taking on something on hindsight you shouldn’t have? It’s easier to notice after you say yes how this is negatively affecting your life.

1) Notice that getting yourself into situations like this is not fun. Feel the pain so you remember for next time. Examine why you said yes – maybe you were looking for approval, maybe the project didn’t look as big and time consuming as it ended up, maybe you said yes automatically without looking at your schedule. Figure out why you said yes and put in place boundaries so you are less likely to say yes in that kind of situation. You could decide never to say yes unless you look at your calendar. You could practice with a friend different ways to say no. You can make sure you get a time commitment up front.

2) Next, decide if you want to get out of duty/project/leadership position. In some instances you may have to bow out if it is negatively affecting you and your family. I know you always want to keep your commitments, but sometimes you can’t. You can only focus on so many activities at a time. Make sure it is worth it.

  • Be honest right away with the people affected. Don’t drag it on hoping you will be able to do it. They will be relying on you more as time goes on.
  • Let them know you didn’t realize the time commitment would be so much or whatever your reasoning.
  • Help them find solutions, perhaps finding one or two people to take your place.
  • Have down on paper what specifically you have been working on so someone can get right in.

3) If you decide to stay on for the project, look at the rest of your life. What other projects can you put on hold for the time being? Can you decide no social media for the next three weeks?

  • Is there anyone you could ask that might be able to help you?
  • Talk about ways to streamline and simplify the duty or project.
  • Be clear on how much time you can spend on this and stick with that.
  • During busy times like this it is even more imperative to relax sometime during the day and get at least 10 min of exercise in for stress relief.
  • Cut yourself some slack with the house and cooking. Ask for more help at home.
  • Make sure everyone is clear on the expectations and make sure they are realistic.
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