And are you left with a feeling of frustration that you didn’t stand up for yourself?
The biggest problem with this kind of pattern is that you end up stressed and overworked. Or you end up on the other end of the scale where you are super negative and say no to everything and everybody. None of it creates a good atmosphere for you or for your colleagues so you need to work on finding the balance.
When is the time to say no?
Start by investigating when you tend to fall in the trap of saying yes, even if you know right off the bat that you will never be able to do a good job. There are lots of possible reasons:
- You want to make everybody around you happy
- You are afraid of letting colleagues or your boss down
- You don’t have a realistic view of your own time
- You don’t have your planning in place, so you don’t even know if you have the time
If the problem is you trying to be nice all the time, there is good reason to think about what happens here. Forget about making everybody happy- there is no way you can ever accomplish that. It’s also a fact that neither your boss or your colleagues will be thrilled if you get so stressed that you get sick from it. And no one is going to give you an award for doing a bad job, because you didn’t really have the time.
But how do you say no in a decent way? The worst example is the coworker, who is never able to help or take on extra work. We all know the character, and that’s not what you want to aim for. You have to know where your limits are and where to draw the line, which will only gain you more respect. You can consider:
- If you have a tendency to say yes too quickly, then ask for time to think about your answer. That will give you the opportunity to consider whether you really have the time and resources to do a good job or whether you were about to say yes out of pure reflex. You can also prepare a thorough answer to why, if you decide to say no the the assignment.
- If you experience this dilemma a lot, it’s a good idea to collect a few of the cases and explain the problem to your boss. If you silently accept the assignments without letting your boss know that it’s a problem for you to actually get your stuff done, then your boss doesn’t stand a chance of knowing that you’re overworked. She or he can’t change things they don’t know about.
- Be super on top of your planning. If you have a good grasp of your overall planning, it’s easier to say yes or no to each new assignment and it’s way easier to explain how you spend your time.
Tell me in the comments section – do you recognize the problem?