Running down the hall, with laptop in hand, scurrying to a meeting, in which I am already ten minutes late, while ducking around corners trying to dodge a bullying co-worker, right as I think I have successfully rescued myself, I try to maneuver my leg through the closing jaws of the elevator and then realized it was not my lucky day. While managing to turn to the bullying co-worker’s voice calling my name, I yank my leg from the shutting mouth of the elevator, placed a fake smile on my face and asked the question as if I had no place to be: How can I help you? And like always she poured out the longest list that she some how decided were my duties; of course they weren’t. By this time I was use to being the go-to person for just about anything that needed to get done. As I maneuvered through my tote bag looking for my day-runner to jot down the never-ending list, something happened. While rummaging through the bag and dropping my laptop to the floor, I stopped, looked at the bullying co-worker and informed her that there was no space to add anything extra to my busy schedule. I literally looked at her and answered “no” to her never-ending list. She was shocked. I was amazed and set free by the word “no.”

Many people lose sight of their time because they are always managing to make everyone else’s life a little bit easier. When we allow ourselves to constantly juggle priorities that aren’t ours to handle we are allowing others to control our time. And in situations like these the word “no” should become our very best friend. Learn to just say the word “no”. Some people like to measure success by how full their busy schedules are. Some people also think a constant hustle and bustle of life means they actually have a life. However, this way of thinking is not a good measure of success. If you say, “yes” to doing five different things how effective will you be to get at least one done in a timely manner without running yourself tired? It is more effective to choose one or two projects and see them through. When you are asked to lead something or do something and you really know you cannot give a definite yes, learn to say, “yes” to saying “no”.

If you value your self- importance on how much people need you, saying “no” maybe a task. The motive is not to remove you from working on your good-deeds by assisting others but be very selective before you volunteer your time.

It is so important that you learn not to over extend yourself. No one will value your time the way you will. Learn to say “no” in a pleasant way. Of course some people will be offended but you know exactly what you can handle at that time. It is up to you to control your time. Learn to say “no”. Here are a number of ways you can say “yes” to saying “no.”

Ways to say the word “no”

  1. “I do apologize, I can’t dedicate the time that is needed.”
  2. “That is a great idea, I just have too much on my plate right now.”
  3. I would like to assist you but right now I have several projects that I need to complete.”
  4. Suggest a quick solution to the problem or an idea, do not suggest anyone else’s time to complete the task.

Learn to value your time by considering your priorities first. In order for you to follow-through with other people’s agenda you must first prioritize your agenda.

About Jennifer DeAnna

Jennifer DeAnna is a Life Coach and founder of Ladies Stand, an online mini-read that empowers ladies to take a stand in business, personal and faith development. Jennifer DeAnna also offers group and individual coaching sessions. For more information log onto and