- Written by Vibha Bharaddwaj
Have you ever regretted saying yes to someone. I mean you wanted to say NO actually but ended up saying YES.
Oh I have. Not just once but several times.
And then in retrospect have regretted so much as saying yes costed me so much of time effort and money too.
You know during our growing years we were taught that how we had to be at the best of our behaviour, be nice to people and so on.
Little did we realise that we ended up becoming people pleasers saying yes to all kinds of wrong things.
When I started my own venture two years ago i had to really work hard to bring in business.
And obviously I had to be cautious about whom I committed my time to.
At times I found saying yes resulted in a total burnout situation. I was pulled to meetings that didnt actually need me at all. And just because I had a different perspective on things didnt actually mean taht I had to be a part of it. My “Being nice” tag resulted in my priorities getting derailed and end of it it stressed me out big time and at times, the quality of work suffered.
Recently when I was going through the book FreeToFocus book by Michael Hyatt which I think is a must for every entrepreneur, I did this exercise wherein I had to mark areas that were of Desire, Distinterest, Drudgery and Distraction. And I found there were very few of my activities in the desire zone, most of them were either in Drudgery or Distraction and this was mostly because I just did not say NO the first time and ended up “Majoring in Minor things”.
And the surprising thing was, it was not only at work, even in my personal life I had several situations. Recently my cousin relocated to US and she invited all of us over for a sleep over, she also wanted some help with packing some last minute things.
I so wanted to tell her NO because I had this important meeting that was coming up and I had to prepare for it but I just could not. She emotionally blackmailed me to say YES.
I still remember that rainy afternoon when I had to drive a long distance in traffic, had to take some calls in the car and as I was driving, the signal strength in certain pockets of the city were weak as a result it was embarrassing everytime the call dropped and I had to re-initiate the call with an apology. It actually wasn’t worth it at all.
And the cousin reunion did not turn out as exciting as most of the folks changed the plan due to rains.
I am sure you also must have faced such a situation.
If we know that an undesirable Yes leads to such a situation why is that we are not strong enough to say NO.
I think one of the reasons is there is this question of possibility.
Like, what if I go and I get some opportunity for my new business.
What if I network with someone who may later help me with some project or business.
What if this one meeting results in that dream client of mine….
And on and on.
Many leaders have written and spoken about this and have cautioned us saying “Dont get too excited and say Yes, without pausing for a moment and asking yourself whether this meeting, or situation or get together , is really worth your time.? Dont you have something more important thing or place or person that you need to be with?
So here is the thing.
Everyone gets only 24 hours in a day.
And you need to make the most of it.
If your business or family demands your time then you got to learn to say NO without feeling guilty about it.
It is not selfish to work on your goals and priorities.
It is OK to be selfish and Protect your time from such time-stealers.