Learn to Say No Better While Waiting to Say Yes

Saying no is a difficult skill to learn if you haven’t practiced with it, but it must be avoided so that you don’t get overwhelmed . If you don’t like the word “No” yet, give yourself a chance to fight by postponing the “Yes” answer.

As the productivity blog Levo suggests, asking someone to wait before you agree to help them gives you time to come up with a more polite way to refuse. You also give yourself the opportunity to think about your own needs instead of saying yes just because you don’t want to disappoint someone (regardless of whether you can actually do it):

Instead, make your default answer, “Let me check something and I’ll get back to you.” It gets rid of the habit of agreeing with things before you have time to really think about whether you want to and / or whether there is time for it. It also gives you the ability to process their request and arrive at a graceful “no” if necessary.

Obviously, there are times when waiting can be unacceptable, but for most of the things that usually weigh us down, we can put it off for a little while. Learning to say no gracefully on the spot is a difficult skill, but you can easily master it if you give yourself a buffer first.

How to Take Back Control of Your Time (and Your Life) | Left through 99u

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