If you continually accept every request in fear of upsetting your boss, your colleagues or your friends, it will be you that ends up feeling the pinch of stress and lack of time.
Our own inability to say no often leads to seemingly small issues turning into something more. A build up of never ending tasks that you have inherited can lead you to a place you don't want to be in. It could be stress, lack of sleep, sickness or the urge to change your job.
But don’t fear saying no, it’s all in the delivery. The easist way to deal with a request is to open your dialogue with a ‘No’ and a brief reason as to why. The key here is not to waffle and ensure your reason is valid. The remainder of your conversation should offer your colleague an alternative solution to solve their problem. Let’s face it, you are on the same team and the people you work with value your help. Taking the time to discuss an issue and offering a solution can often pave the way to a satisfactory resolution and an understanding from both perspectives.
Here are a few other lines you can try:
1. Let me check what I've got on and I'll get back to you.
2. I'd love to help you out, but I have other priorities at the moment.
3. I have a tight deadline I'm working on, I'll get back to you once it's finished.
You may be surprised to know that you are not the only one who suffers from this affliction. Be sure to keep communication open and maintain a solid understanding of your priorities when debating whether you should just say no.