August 17, 2012

When to say “No”

Last week I wrote about making sure that when you say yes you are following through on what you are saying.  Today I am writing about when to say no. 

 The reality is that we only have so much capacity in life.  We all have the same 168 hours a week, but time is the only thing that we cannot gain back once it is gone. 

 Read that again.

 Time is the only thing that we cannot gain back once it is gone. 

 Being very careful as to what you say “yes” to is a critical part of how you will live your life.  It dictates our lives and how we live them and who we ultimately spend our time with.


When we are presented with a situation, If we don’t have a filter to run that “yes” through, we end up over committed, not following through on what we said (see last week’s blog:  ) and also having a feeling of constantly being overwhelmed. 

 At work, saying yes to everything is not always a good thing.  You only have so much capacity.  You can only work so many hours.  You can only do so much before you start to be stretched thin and the quality of your work starts to fall. 

 Here is a new idea that might help you at work:  when someone wants you to do something “new”, ask them “What project that I am currently working on (and list them) would you like me to stop doing?”  This person will have to think twice about pulling you off an important project that you are currently working on to start or complete the task at hand, especially if they are your manager.

 Does this work all of the time?  Of course not.  But it is a start – to have you THINK about your time and your workload and how you will be able to manage it.

 The Real Christian Businessman HAS TO BE THE JUDGE over how you handle what you are working on and if saying “yes” is appropriate or saying “no” is actually better.  You see, the onus always falls onto our shoulders.  You just have to build in a FILTER on how you are going to handle the requests of others, so that you can make the proper response and judgment as to what you need to do. 

 “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”   James 1:5: (NIV84)

 How can you adjust your “yes” so that you can think and pray about what you say before you automatically give an answer?

One Comment on “When to say “No”

Jody Medford
August 19, 2012 at 5:06 pm

Your wisdom has served me well over the years in this area… when you add something to your calendar, something else must come off!


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