I used to put everyone elseís requests and needs first and if there was any time left over at end of day for what I needed and wanted to do, that was acceptable -- until I began to realize that if you and I are going to have fun and be effective in our lives, we have to stay away from allocating our time solely on basis of those who demand it. Instead, we have to allocate our time on basis of those who deserve it.
I don't mean this in any negative or arrogant way. Itís just you and I have limits to amount of time we have to spend, and so one of most powerful words in your vocabulary is word "no", as in "What part of NO didn't you understand?"
Almost everyone you encounter will think they have a better idea about how you should be spending your time. It doesn't make others bad. Itís just way world works. If there is a void in your life, someone, or many someones for that matter, will jump in to try and fill that spot.
The problem is that they do not have full understanding of where you are taking your life. If you keep saying "yes", they will continue to take up your time, possibly keeping you from accomplishing what you really want to do.
"No" is sometimes difficult to say because you have been taught differently. You have been taught to say, "yes", to please, to serve, and to accommodate.
There is nothing wrong with saying "yes" some or even most of time, but occasionally there is a line you choose not to cross, when saying "yes" is really not best use of your time to get you to where you need and want to be.
If you had unlimited amounts of time, you could "yes" all time to everyone. But you don't. You have 24 hours each day, 7 days a week for a total of 168 hours. And you get to spend that time only once, so you have to spend it wisely.
Seventeen Ways to Say "No"
Take ones you like, change them around and use words that are comfortable for you. The point is if you are ever in a position when you can never say "no", then you are always saying "yes", and like song says, "If you don't stand for something, you will fall for everything".