Orangeville, ON (My Corner Office) Do you find yourself busy and unhappy about the commitments to which you said “yes?” You need to free up time and energy by saying “no” more often.

Yes, that can be hard. To make it easier, here are effective ways to communicate a “no.”

  • Pause. Count to three before saying anything. Wait until the other person rushes to fill the void with “Oh, never mind.”
  • Say “OK, but what should I prioritize?” That last is a work word. Outside the office, put it as “Hmm, I can if I quit my exercise class and the Sunday School class I teach every week.”
  • Try “I can’t, but so-and-so might help.” Even with tasks as odious to you as cleaning out a garage, some people don’t mind or even enjoy them.
  • Soften the “no” with what you will do. For instance, “No, I can’t mentor your nephew, but I can give him some advice in a quick phone call.”