This week has been one of the most stressful weeks of my life partly because of me. I am not too good with stress management so that explains why I wrote this post after doing a lot of research, reading some books, and even giving a presentation on some aspects of stress management.

I wrote that article to help share information at the time, and also as a note to myself just in case I get misguided over the course of life: adulting. I documented it so that I can also refer to it and remind myself of how to live a better life, because life must be lived, and to the fullest! Right? Coupled with the fact that I try to preach practice, practice because one may not necessarily be perfect. We are after all humans.

I had a conversation with someone the other day and it took quite a different twist eventually. I’m sure we are not alone. Do you also find it difficult to say “no” to some people at work?

You must definitely have been in such situation I presume.

You have quite a lot of work to do, and let’s also add personal stuff in line because the truth remains that in as much as work-related matters is a big priority, our personal life, health, and mental well-being is equally important. Little wonder I wrote these posts here and here.

What inspired this post

I have been unable to post articles frequently this week, which was one of my goals: to post at least three articles in a week. So I felt a bit low about that. But that aside, I haven’t also had the time or maybe the right atmosphere to be creative. If you noticed, November was a good blogging month for me; I did quite well with blogging frequently and I was really proud of my achievements.

I don’t want to publish mundane posts, blog posts that don’t resonate with my school of thought, or that seem not in line with the objectives of this blog. So sometimes I just give it time.

I am not necessarily a people pleasing person, and I really don’t see myself as one, but sometimes I find myself trying to help someone even at the expense of my time and sanity. I commit to something even when it may be difficult and then the problem later becomes that I have to play my part, because, I make it a duty to keep to my word.

I guess the best way to keep to your word is to say ‘no’ initially, at least until you are quite certain that you can make a commitment.

We kept talking about the difficulty of saying ‘no’ sometimes even when a task isn’t manageable; it occurred to me, this was my present state of life. I had supposedly gotten too tied up on trying to possibly impress whoever it was, forgetting the importance of other things, and trying to prevent things I had absolutely no control over whatsoever.

So I took out these past few days to do some research, study myself, set my priorities rights, and set limits. To put what’s first, first. What did you expect?

I’d be sharing what I’ve learned over these few days.


1. Set boundaries

This would involve making a list and thoroughly deciding to stick to it above second options. This may seem difficult; I mean, you are at work and it’s also important that you get general tasks that help improve the business done. The truth is, you need to revisit your job description and know what your top duties involve.

When that is added to your list, you want to add other personal primary responsibilities. These may include projects at work that better align with your interests, the amount of time you want to spend on hobbies, and how much you want to improve your personal well-being, health, or sleep better.

You need to know what’s paramount. You want to have spare time to do other things, and most importantly, you want to leave work when it’s the close of business day and not need to take work home.

Are you someone that takes work home? Alright, go over this first point again!

Remember that if you end up accepting every task that’s thrown at you, relevant or not, and you are unable to complete it as at when due, it speaks badly of you. It will make you appear less productive and somewhat irresponsible.

2. Say Yes and continue speaking

I find that this works better when you need to respond to your boss, manager, or someone in a higher position than you. In this case, you want to be as distinct as possible, so that your boss can weigh out options and decide on what task should be given preference.

The next time you are asked if you have free time to handle a project, you can respond this way:

“Yes, but I have this other task at hand….”

This way, he/she may give you better direction on what to do first, depending on its importance.

3. Give a better suggestion

From my research and recent practice (if you can call a few days that), I’ve also found that you can try suggesting other co-workers who may be the perfect fit for the task at hand. It could be possible that there are other employees who may find that task useful to their career objectives.

While this task may not be brought at the appropriate time, you can help provide a better alternative. So try suggesting someone else who may be able to help. Also, share your thoughts and suggestion on better ways to resolve the issue at hand.

Please realize that you are not in any way trying to make an excuse. Rather all you want to do is try to shift the task to someone else who may better appreciate the task at hand.

4. Say ‘no’ and bask in the euphoria of warmth and less worry

Just say ‘no’ and remember how good your life would be for another day. I have finally reached a decision on something I was so confused about and damn the consequences.

The truth is tough decisions must be made in this life to survive. This point may not absolutely apply to work but other areas of personal growth and accomplishment.

Well, these are the few things I’ve been able to garner lately. It’s really important to learn to say ‘no’ to certain things especially if it’s adding no value to you or time spent. This will help with your mental state and help improve your organizational skills in the long run. If I get to learn other tips along the line I’ll be sure to share that here on the blog and possibly update this post.

What ways do you say no to unrelated tasks at work? Can you relate to this topic? I’d love to hear from you, please share your thoughts in the comment section.

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