Saying ‘yes’ can open some doors for you. However, if you don’t learn when to say ‘no,’ it can drag you down, stress you out, and ultimately damage your career and maybe even your health. It may be hard, particularly when you’re a team player and eager to please, but pledge to say no to:
- Opportunities when they don’t suit you. Resist the urge to take on tasks or projects that don’t fit in with or will distract you from your professional goals and objectives.
- Traditional networking. Instead of agreeing to participate in all networking or business-social events, pick and choose opportunities to target and connect with people who inspire you and can help you reach you career goals or who are experts who can share information and advice over time.
- Working too much. You can be a dedicated, productive worker and valuable team member without being a workaholic. Working to the point of exhaustion or burnout won’t help you or your organization.
- Doing all the work yourself. It can be hard to delegation, but this will be easier if you build a good, competent team that you trust and give them the skills to be effective.
- Neglecting self-care. Giving up sleep or exercise may help you be more productive in the short term, but it will catch up to you sooner or later. Make a commitment to eat right, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to fall into bad habits, particularly during a crisis such as the pandemic.
- Being rigid about priorities. These are important and can help you organize your day and stay on track. However, be flexible. Don’t miss out on new opportunities or promising trends because you’re so focused on your list. At the same time, stay aware of what’s happening around you so that don’t get blindsided by brewing problems or crises.
- People who drag you down. Successful people don’t tolerate or indulge in negativity. Set boundaries and limit (as possible) the time you spend with people who are likely to sabotage your enthusiasm or progress, drain your energy, and/or hold you back.