Search

Why do we do things we don’t want to do?

Learning to say “No”

“EXECUTION: Just Say No” — Ratdesign.de


In the past, I have agreed to do things for people even though I didn’t really have the time. Or I have agreed to go somewhere or do an activity I wasn’t really in to. Haven’t we all? In part this came from a desire to help in the first instance, and a desire to appear amendable in the second instance. Not that I haven’t had unexpected fun or appreciated trying something new, but there are days, quite a few days, when I wish I had just said — no.


The kicker is that when we do things we don’t have time for, we can feel bitter about it after the fact, and when we do things we don’t want to, we show up and don’t really enjoy ourselves — what a bummer for everyone! So why not just say no to begin with? Surely we can say no periodically and not have need to feel any guilt, or regret, or receive an adverse reaction? And it sure is better that then saying “yes” and then not showing up at all right? (You know who you are!)


This issue is compounded when we apply it to work. We get paid to be at work and to do work, so we think we need to say yes to everything…


Why do we always say “Yes”

Seriously. When a colleague or manager comes to us asking for something, have we ever said no? I love a good “to do” list as much as the next person, there is immense satisfaction in crossing things off of it, but during my time in corporate, my “to do” list was often filled with activities for other people!


“Innovation is omission.” — Steven Mc Auley


Calendars are always full, whether it is internal or external meetings, in-person or Zoom meetings, or just reminders for tasks we need to accomplish, heck we now have to block time to get on with our own work!


Calendars are always full, whether it is internal or external meetings, in-person or Zoom meetings, or just reminders for tasks we need to accomplish, heck we now have to block time to get on with our own work!


Think about that for a second.


We have to block our own calendars so no one will book another unnecessary “update” meeting, and to enable us to actually have time to get our own work done! So how on earth are we supposed to find time to ideate and innovate? Or even think if it comes to that?


Too many obligations

I love Steven Mc Auley’s challenge “Just say No” because it really is a challenge! Well for me anyway.


Let’s cut the slack. Try it. Say “no” to every request that is asked of us, and everything that is brought to us for one whole day.


It’s not a problem if we change your mind later, we can always come back to it, but for every request our very first answer must be no. If someone asks do we want pasta for lunch, say “no” and choose something else. Just the practice of saying “no”, and feeling the word in our mouths has the ability to change our whole energy and dynamic — we will feel empowered!


Having said that — of course be polite:


  • “No, but thanks for thinking of me.”

  • “No, I really don’t have the time to add that to my tasks today.”

  • “No, I don’t really feel like it. Thanks”

The important thing we will see is that by removing other people’s tasks rom our own to -do list we will suddenly have so much more time for our own work and maybe even time to think and innovate!


Just say no.


. . .


Instagram: TinyBox| Image Design: Rat Design


There are fun team tasks associated with this challenge, order The Innovators Journal today to support us during this economically challenging time.



2 views0 comments