I'm a people pleaser. If someone needs help, a ride, advice, an errand, a favor...they usually come to me - mostly because they know I'll say yes.
You see, saying no has never been one of my fortes. The art of saying no in the workplace is especially hard for me since I'm not the gal in charge.
I have bosses. I have several of them. People give me assignments, hand over projects, designate tasks and without fail, they all wait for the, "yes, no problem, absolutely, you betcha, happy to help, you got it" complete with a thumbs up or high-five in response. They simply expect that you will manage your time in such a manner to just get it done.
But clearly we can't always say yes. With only 24 hours in the day, it's simply impossible for us Working Girls to take on every task and assignment that crosses our desk or inbox. So how do we say no?
Plain and simple--we don't.
We don't say, "nope, no can do, sorry, no thanks" and that's the end of it. Instead, we prioritize. We learn how to stay organized, on task and most importantly - we master the art of time management.
If you're like me, you're a 20-something Working Girl who's early on in her career, eager to learn and be challenged, and someone who really can't afford to say no to anyone. I need all the help, advice, projects and experience I can get.
Why say no when there's no reason you shouldn't say yes?
Lauren Fernandez perfectly addressed this topic in her recent "Single PR Pros: You Suck at Time Management" post. She writes:
“Time management is an art that few excel at, although many claim otherwise. Work duties, family, dating, networking and friends all have a place in your life during the week. It’s not about how much time you devote to each entity. It’s about the type of routine and habits you develop to fit it all in.”
And while Lauren discusses time management in terms of work-life balance, the same holds true in the workplace. It’s not about being superwoman. It’s about learning to balance the to-do list, prioritizing which line items take precedence over others.
So, say yes.
Chances are you won't get to every project today, this week or even this month. Instead, you'll show that you are ready, willing and fully capable of balancing a busy work schedule while also producing quality work.
And who knows... that determination, hard work and diligence might land you a future gig that let's you assign all the projects.