Productivity and Setting Boundaries

Setting boundaries improves your productivity.  It means at times you have to “say no.”Say No

How does saying ‘no’ tie in with being productive?  Well to say “yes” to something, you are usually saying “no” to something else.  We do this all the time.  If we answer our emails before we write the marketing report, we are saying “yes” to one activity and “no” to another.

There are reasons why we don’t say ‘no’:

  • You want to help
  • You do not like being rude
  • You do not like conflict
  • You worry if you say ‘no’ this time they may not ask you again
  • Feel you may be offending others

They key is learning the right way to say ‘no’.  Once I developed this skill, I realised it was not difficult at all and other people are actually very understanding.

Here are some ways to say no:

  • “I have a prior commitment”
  • “I’m overextended, right now.”
  • “I can’t commit to this at the moment due to my other priorities”
  • “Sorry, can’t. Let me know how it goes.”
  • “I’m tempted, but I’ll have to pass.”
  • “I would rather decline than do a mediocre job.”
  • “I’d really love to say yes, but I just can’t.”
  • “I’m honoured, but this is a busy time, and I won’t be able to fit it in.”
  • “You’re so good at that, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding someone to help.”
  • “You know I’d never refuse you if I could help it. I am swamped right now.”
  • “I can’t do that, but I can suggest a few people who might be able to help you”
  • “I’d love to help you with this. Which of my current projects should I delegate to another person in order to take this on?”

A personal example for me was that I had been on the kindergarten committee, school education board, festival committee and a parish committee.  As I had decided that I really wanted to focus on developing my business, I chose to clear my schedule of all but one committee when I was approached to join the netball committee.  I suspected that I would be approached so I had an answer prepared which helped and I was able to provide the following response – “I really appreciate you asking me to join the netball committee, but I have cleared my schedule of all but one committee so I can focus on my business, that is all I feel I am able to contribute to at the moment, but I appreciate you asking and perhaps in the future I may be able to assist. “


For the next week, be aware of how often you just say “yes” even when you don’t want to do something.  Try before you automatically say “yes” to just pause and consider if you have the time or want to do it; if you don’t, then say “no” using one of the above possibilities. You will be surprised at how it all turns out okay.

Thank you and I look forward to sharing more tips, strategies and skills to support you to be more organised so that you too can create a better life. Refer to our website for “Saying NO” signs.

“Be an inspiration to yourself and

you will be an inspiration to others.”


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