We teach our pets meaning of word. We quickly learned its meaning as toddlers when we reached for mommy or daddy's car keys. Even an anti-drug campaign was built around word. Yet, now that we're older, wiser and more responsible, word struggles to break free from our own lips when we need to use it most. That word? "No".
Just saying "no" is essential in dealing with, managing, and even preventing stress. Knowing your limitations can prevent you from digging yourself into holes when you realize you can't live up to commitment you took on.
It's funny, when we were children, no diplomacy was required. Little Joey would decide that our favorite toy was to become communal property, without our prior notification. When he grabbed for our precious play-thing, "no" just seemed to flow from our lips, and if that didn't do it, we added about 5 more no's . How easy it was back then.
Of course, just saying "no" (and nothing else) to your boss is not wise when they drop one more project on your desk -- adding to 5 they've already given you. Just saying "no" can be mistaken as subordination. More diplomacy is required!
But, there's a point when we can only take on so much. In order to prevent stress, we have to know our limitations.
What if my performance on job, reputation amongst co-workers and friends is unfairly based on one instance of "just saying no"? ============================ If you are known for being a responsible and reliable person, people tend to take you more seriously when you just can't do something for them. Your reputation of integrity and reliability won't disappear in a "poof" of smoke if you say no to one request.
One thing I never hesitate to do is let people know exact reasons why I have to turn down a request -- essential when refusing a request from people over you in authority.
Doesn't pile of work in my in-box say I can't take another assignment? ============================ Having a desk with piles of work doesn't say you're busy - it just says you're unorganized or possibly inefficient - and that you need time management and organization help!
Think of yourself as a manufacturing plant ============================ Treat your schedule as importantly as job schedule in a manufacturing plant. A plant production manager always knows what needs to get done, what's been accomplished and would never increase production if workers can't keep up with workflow. It would look bad on their ability to manage workers, employees would get disgruntled and inability to fulfill orders would erode company's integrity and reputation.